With Sean Maguire’s Cork City career beginning to wind down, attention will soon be turning to the striker’s replacement at Turner’s Cross.
It was confirmed on Saturday morning that the 23-year-old would be leaving for Preston North End in July, just over 12 hours after scoring a hat-trick for his current side against defending champions Dundalk at Oriel Park.
With a title charge to maintain, manager John Caulfield knows he has to get it right in terms of replacing what Maguire can offer to the Cork City starting lineup, and according to the42, he has chosen Leeds United forward Eoghan Stokes as that man.
Previous reports had linked City with a move for former Dundalk striker Patrick Hoban, now a free agent having been released by Mansfield Town, and while that could still be an option, the report suggests that Stokes has moved to the forefront of Caulfield’s transfer plans.
The 21-year-old has been at Elland Road since joining from St. Kevins Boys (the club that also produced current Ireland internationals Robbie Brady and Jeff Hendrick among others) in 2012. However, the move to England has not been plain sailing, as despite some strong showings for the Leeds reserve sides, he has been unable to make the first-team breakthrough at Elland Road.
His contract at the club is up as of this summer, and while he could yet sign a new deal and stay at Leeds (as has been offered to him already), he may prefer to leave in search of senior football.
Leeds have taken up option to extend deals held by Romario Vieira and Conor Shaughnessy. 1-year deals offered to Eoghan Stokes + Tom Pearce
— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) May 17, 2017
While City await further developments of new signings (and reports at the weekend suggested that they had a bid for Sligo Rovers’ Kieran Sadlier rejected), they resume league duties after the midseason break against Limerick, where Maguire begins the long goodbye to the Leesiders.