It’s already been a busy transfer window for Irish internationals, but all signs point to it getting even busier before the summer is up.
Players such as Jonathan Walters, Cyrus Christie and Jonny Hayes have all switched clubs in pre-season, but there are still a number of balls in the air regarding further deals involving the Boys in Green.
Some transfers look more likely than others, but it would not be a surprise to see the following five players at different clubs in the new campaign.
Daryl Murphy (Newcastle)
The 34-year-old has been told in no uncertain terms that he is free to leave St. James’s Park this summer, so a move is almost guaranteed to happen. Murphy was signed by Rafa Benitez from Ipswich in a £3m fee, and after scoring 5 goals in his 14 Championship appearances for the Magpies the striker can feel he contributed to their promotion.
A move to another club in England’s second tier seems likely.
Glenn Whelan (Stoke City)
With compatriot Jon Walters already out the door, speculation has been mounting that Whelan would follow, possibly also to Burnley. While the 33-year-old has been an important part of the Stoke midfield for the best part of a decade, the signing of Darren Fletcher in the summer look could spell the end for his time at the club.
Aston Villa have already had one bid rejected, but Mark Hughes has suggested that the right offer would be accepted.
Shane Long (Southampton)
Although new Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino will likely give Long every chance to impress in pre-season, the mooted signing of Atletico Madrid striker Luciano Vietto doesn’t bode well for the former Cork City forward. With Manolo Giabbiadini and Charlie Austin already vying for places at St. Mary’s, Long may well find first-team opportunities limited if he doesn’t get a move elsewhere.
James McCarthy (Everton)
McCarthy’s relationship with Everton manager Ronald Koeman has been strained, but even in pure footballing terms, the former Wigan man has a serious battle to get into that Toffees midfield. An already crowded field that contains Idrissa Gueye, Tom Davies, Gareth Barry and, Muhamed Besic Morgan Schneiderlin has been supplemented by the £24m arrival of Davy Klaassen.
Newcastle were interested in January, and they may rekindle their interest if Everton are agreeable to a deal.
Marc Wilson (Bournemouth)
Wilson joined Bournemouth from Stoke City last summer, but didn’t make a single Premier League appearance for the Cherries before moving to West Bromwich Albion on loan in January. Reports have suggested that Tony Pulis is set to make that move permanent this summer to buy Wilson for the second time, having been the one to bring him to Stoke in the first place in 2010.
As well as the names above, Aiden McGeady is likely to complete a move from Everton to Sunderland in the coming days, while free agents Robbie Keane and Shay Given are still on the lookout for new clubs.
On this week’s episode of the Mixer Irish football podcast, we chatted to Shelbourne manager Owen Heary and looked ahead to Irish sides’ big week in Europe, as well as the usual League of Ireland news.