PAT FENLON IS hoping to buy Irish in the run-up to Christmas.
The Hibernian boss is drawing on his Airtricity League experience to kick-start a revival at Easter Road and is reported to have targeted Sligo Rovers’ frontman Eoin Doyle as his first signing.
Fenlon is understood to have contacted the Dubliner personally in the last few days to make arrangements for Doyle to travel over to Edinburgh for talks.
But despite boosting his attacking options with the signing of Danny North and Mark Quigley, Sligo manager Paul Cook is anxious not to lose a guaranteed goal-getter as the club seek to go one step better and win the Premier Division next season.
“Our aim is to hold on to our best players for next season,” a club spokesman told TheScore.ie earlier today, “but if a player feels that the right move has come along, we wouldn’t stand in his way.”
Doyle quickly became a fan favourite since signing for the Bit O’Red from Shamrock Rovers in the summer of 2009. He scored 20 times in the league last season, chasing home Derry City’s Eamon Zayed for the top scorer title.
Doyle is not the first Sligo player that Fenlon has taken a closer interest in since his move to Hibernian. Defender Iarflaith Davoren spent a few days in Edinburgh last week and played in a training-ground friendly against Celtic before he was released again.
Sligo confirmed this afternoon that they have signed goalkeeper Gary Rogers from St Patrick’s Athletic while Benin international Romuald Boco has rejoined the club from Chinese side Shanghai East Asia.
“I’m delighted to bring Romauld back to Sligo,” Cook told the club’s official website. “He was keen to re-join the club and I know he is determined to do well for us again.
“We want to improve the squad and I think everyone knows what he brings us.”
Meanwhile, Sligo’s main rivals, Airtricity League champions Shamrock Rovers, have begun to re-sign some of their current squad now that their extended season has finally come to an end.
The vast majority of Rovers’ players were out of contract following the end of the Hoops’ Europa League campaign last week. Midfielders Chris Turner and Steven O’Donnell are the first to put pen to paper on new deals in Tallaght.
This morning, bookmakers slashed odds on Derry City manager Stephen Kenny moving south to take over at Rovers following Michael O’Neill’s departure last week.