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Jack Byrne offers candid update on future as he ponders next move

Byrne

Byrne is attracting plenty of interest after an excellent 2020 campaign.

Jack Byrne says he will take his time before deciding on his next club after his contract at Shamrock Rovers expired.

The 24-year-old playmaker has attracted plenty of interest after helping Rovers clinch their first League of Ireland title in nine years, although last weekend’s FAI Cup final – which could prove to be his last game for the club – ended in agony as Dundalk ran out 4-2 winners after extra-time.

And while Byrne says he will consider offers from abroad, he has not definitively closed the door on the return to Rovers in 2021.

Byrne

“I’d be hoping people will respect that it’s still early in England or in Europe, America in all their transfer windows,” Byrne told the Irish Independent after he was named PFAI Player of the Year.

“I have signed the last day of the summer window for Kilmarnock, I signed the last day of the January window for Wigan.

“I understand these things don’t just happen even though you are a free agent. Could I turn around tomorrow and get something? Yeah. Would it be the right thing to do? You don’t know all the options on the table so it wouldn’t be the right thing to do.”

Byrne

Byrne has been outstanding since joining Rovers and refused to rule out a return to Tallaght in 2021.

“I am still not ruling out Shamrock Rovers. I have spoken to the club and the manager. I have told him that they will be in my mind when I am making the decision and they are OK waiting a little bit as well.

“It just has to be the right club and the right challenge. One of the best years of my career was playing in Holland. I wouldn’t rule out going back there if something good became available.”

Byrne insists that uppermost in his thoughts is a desire to play regular first-team football. As per the Independent’s report, the former Manchester City youngster has interest from APOEL Nicosia, who are managed by Mick McCarthy, the man who gave the Dubliner his Ireland debut.

Byrne

Byrne, who joined Rovers in 2019 after leaving Kilmarnock, is also said to have interest from the MLS, but he insists he has to pick a club where he will get a ‘shot’ of elevating his career.

The 2019 and 2020 PFAI Player of the Year said: “I’m not going to go somewhere where it’s not the right move for me, I’m going to go somewhere where if I am leaving the club where I’m playing, week in, week out, I’d have to be somewhere where at least I’d get a shot and then it’s up to you to keep the jersey.

“I’ve no right to be starting every week but if you do leave then you’d be hoping you have the shirt anyways for a short period of time to prove that you can keep it.”

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