English side Aston Villa have reportedly entered the race to sign highly sought-after Limerick forward Chiedozie Ogbene.
The Irish Examiner have reported on Thursday morning that the Championship side have even gone as far as preparing a January bid for the promising 20-year-old to, whose contract at Markets Field expires at the end of 2018.
Ogbene has just come off the back of a strong season with Limerick. Having joined the newly-promoted side at the beginning of 2017, he went on to score eight goals in 32 Premier Division appearances as Neil McDonald’s side successfully moved away from the relegation battle to finish seventh in the table.
Prior to his move to Limerick, Ogbene was part of the Cork City side that came second to Dundalk in two consecutive years in 2015 and 2016, and came on as a substitute in City’s dramatic 2016 FAI Cup final win against the same opposition at the Aviva Stadium.
Although he is still under contract at Limerick, the report suggests that Ogbene has been on trial at Premier League side Chelsea. Aston Villa’s interest seems more solid, however, and Ogbene could well find himself part of a gorwing Irish contingent that already features Glenn Whelan, Scott Hogan, Conor Hourihane, Kevin Tonner, James Finnerty,
Jack Grealish and Jake Doyle Hayes.
Having already lost influential midfielder Bastien Hery post-season, however, McDonald and Limerick would be loath to lose another star player.
In this week’s episode of the Mixer Irish Football Podcast, we chat to David Cawley about his recent return to Sligo Rovers from Galway United, we look at the proposed promotion/relegation structure in the First Divison as well as recap all of the latest domestic news.