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Jane Barlow Andy Boyle challenges Daniel Candeias during Dundee's 1-1 draw with Rangers on Saturday.
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Ireland international Andy Boyle keen to extend loan spell in Scotland
The former Dundalk defender is due to return to Preston North End from Dundee next month.

ANDY BOYLE HAS expressed his desire to stay in Scotland as his Dundee loan spell draws to a close.

Boyle has made eight appearances for the Scottish Premiership side since his arrival from Preston North End in September.

The most recent of those came in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Rangers, which lifted Dundee off the foot of the table.

The 27-year-old central defender, whose Preston contract expires at the end of the season, is due to return to the English Championship club on 7 January. However, he told the Scottish Sun that his preference is to extend his stint in Scotland.

“I believe there is an option to stay on, so I’ll sit down over the next couple of weeks and see what’s going to happen,” Boyle said. “I would like to stay on.”

The Irish international has been surplus to requirements at Preston since Alex Neil succeeded Simon Grayson — who signed him from Dundalk — as boss in the summer of 2017.

Boyle made just five first-team appearances last season before being sent out on loan. He spent the second half of the campaign with Doncaster Rovers in League One.

Another Irish defender who’s interested in an extended spell in Scotland is Jimmy Dunne, who joined Hearts on loan from Burnley in August.

Jimmy Dunne Ryan Byrne / INPHO Jimmy Dunne was among the substitutes for Ireland's goalless draw with Denmark in Aarhus. Ryan Byrne / INPHO / INPHO

Dunne, who featured in the Ireland squad for last month’s game against Denmark, played in every minute of Hearts’ Scottish Premiership campaign until his time in Edinburgh was cut short earlier this month by an ankle injury.

Hearts manager Craig Levein has already indicated his eagerness to keep the 21-year-old centre-half at Tynecastle, and that’s an idea Dunne is very much open to.

“I must admit I’m missing the club. I’m missing the lads, I’m missing the coaches and the staff,” said the Louth native, who’s expected to return to full fitness in mid-January.

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“There is always the possibility I could come back but it’s not something I can think about until my ankle is better. It’s a place I’ve loved and if I was to play there again I’d be delighted. I didn’t expect to feel as connected to the club as I did.”

He added: “I felt like a Hearts player the whole time and I think I’m twice the player that I was before I came up north. I honestly couldn’t have developed quicker anywhere else.” 

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