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'He's going to a serious level' - City boss won't insult Maguire with League 1 offers

John Caulfield says interest in in-form striker Sean Maguire from England’s third tier won’t be entertained.

Sean Maguire celebrates scoring Cork City striker Sean Maguire celebrates after scoring against Derry City last night. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

WHETHER IT COMES in the summer or at the end of the season, Cork City manager John Caulfield says the club will support Sean Maguire in sealing a move if he receives an attractive offer from outside the SSE Airtricity League.

However, Caulfield has insisted that the Premier Division leaders won’t entertain interest in their most valuable asset from clubs as low as League One in England, such as Charlton Athletic, who — along with Championship side Preston North End — were linked to Maguire by a report earlier this week.

Maguire, who scored 29 goals in all competitions in his debut season with Cork City in 2016, has already netted nine times in as many games this season. His latest goal came in last night’s 3-0 victory over Derry City at Turner’s Cross.

The 22-year-old striker is contracted to the Leesiders until the end of this season, a deal Caulfield hopes he’ll complete as City continue their bid to win a first Premier Division title in 12 years after making their best start to a season since 1998. Caulfield’s side have a six-point lead at the top of the table courtesy of eight consecutive wins.

But the City boss knows that if Maguire’s goalscoring form continues, bids are likely for the Irish U21 international when the transfer window opens in July. If and when he does eventually leave, Caulfield is adamant that it won’t be for any club in England’s third tier.

John Caulfield Cork City manager John Caulfield. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

“The bottom line is that Seanie can’t go anywhere until at least July. He’s contracted to us until the end of the season. In July he can go because the window is open and we can take offers if we want to,” Caulfield said.

“But at the end of the day, I don’t want to insult the guy with League One clubs. This guy is not going to League One. He’s already had three opportunities to go but he has decided not to.

“In the next three months he can’t go anywhere and the most important thing he needs to do, which he has been doing, is ignore all the PR. The one thing about English clubs, from what I’ve experienced in dealing with them, is that as soon as he has a bad game they’ll be saying what he can’t do.

“The most important thing that he has to do is keep his feet on the ground, keep scoring goals for us, keep working for the team and when the right opportunity comes for him, to take it. We’ll be fully behind that.

“Whenever that is, I’m presuming that’ll be at the end of the season. But then again, he’ll have to have 25 or 30 goals under his belt for that. At the moment, anything in the next two or three months is pure speculation because nothing can happen.

Sean Maguire celebrates at the final whistle Maguire has scored 10 goals in his last 10 games. Source: Tom Beary/INPHO

“But the one thing I would say is that if any lower team thinks they’re going to get him, they have no chance. This guy is tuned in, he’s clued in and he’s going to a serious level if he keeps scoring goals like that. That’s what we all want him to do.”

When asked if Cork City would consider offering Maguire an improved contract in an attempt to keep him at Turner’s Cross, Caulfield said: “At the end of the day, if a club comes in and gives him a serious wage, no one can stand in the way of that. Let’s be sensible about that. It’s not like he’s going to go to a Shamrock Rovers or a Dundalk.

“There’s serious clubs that may come in for him and if they do, their money is at a different level. If that happens, he’ll go. If it doesn’t happen, he won’t.”

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