Clubs vying for midfielder Patrick McEleney

The race for Patrick McEleney’s signature is heating up with several Irish League and League of Ireland clubs currently in hot pursuit of Dundalk’s talented playmaker.

Speculation is mounting that the 28-year-old, who becomes a free agent next January, will be on his way out of Oriel Park at the end of the season with the player understood to be reluctant to sign an extension.

The in-demand player, who is free to talk to clubs from July 1st, could potentially leave Oriel Park as early as next month’s summer transfer window with a host of clubs currently circling.

Derry City and Finn Harps are both understood to be closely monitoring the situation with sources close to the player suggesting McEleney’s family are keen on returning home to the north west after almost six years and two spells with the Co. Louth outfit.

The race is on for McEleney’s signature with Glentoran, Larne, Linfield and Derry alerted

McEleney, who left Brandywell to join the Lilywhites in 2015, is known to be a keen admirer of Candy Stripes boss Ruaidhri Higgins whom he played alongside at Derry and Dundalk where he also worked under him.

However, there has been significant interest from top Irish League clubs Glentoran, Larne and Linfield who have all been alerted to his availability at the end of the season.

Indeed there will be no shortage of options for the former Sunderland and Oldham Athletic attacker who is likely to be the next high profile player to exit Dundalk, following in the footsteps of skipper, Chris Shields who bids farewell tonight before moving to Windsor Park.

Dundalk boss Vinny Perth this week claimed ‘everything is up for grabs’ with regards to the club’s transfer business.

“There’s interest in players at Dundalk, because they are good players and there’s interest in us bringing in some good players, so the balls are all in the air and we’ll see how they fall over the next couple of days,” said Perth.

“In the world we live in, if someone wants to make a bid for one our players, and if it’s something that interests us and we feel that we can bring someone else in for the same quality or better, then we’ll do it. But that’s not the remit I have been given, that we have to sell players.”