Hoops target Dan to sign for Dundalk
Former Liverpool prospect Dan Cleary has opted to move home and sign for Dundalk despite strong interest from Shamrock Rovers.
Cleary, a product of Crumlin United, had spent five years at Anfield and was also on the books of Birmingham City for an 18-month spell but the defender, who cut his ties with Birmingham last month, is expected to line out for Dundalk in the 2018 season.
The 21-year-old had spent pre-season with Rovers and played in a number of friendly games but he chose Oriel Park.
"Dan informed me yesterday that he was signing for someone else so he won't be coming to us," says Rovers boss Stephen Bradley.
Cleary trained with Dundalk last night but although the Dubliner has yet to put pen to paper on a deal, confirmation is expected in the next 24 hours.
Dundalk are also trying to finalilse a deal to sign Ireland U21 cap Sam Byrne from Everton.
Rovers are also still in talks with Kildare-born forward Eoghan Stokes, a free agent following his exit from Leeds United.
Bradley also confirmed that Michael O'Connor has joined Finn Harps on loan. The Dundalk native had been on trial with Rotherham United and could still earn a cross-channel move but he will begin the 2018 season with Harps.
"Michael had been away at one or two places and we had a lot of interest in him, and something could still happen in the summer, but we thought it was best that he go and play games," says Bradley.
Rovers begin the new season away to Bohemians on Friday.