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Byrne 'clear in head' over future as Bradley says 'zero interest' from Celtic in Mandroiu

Republic of Ireland international inching closer to Shamrock Rovers return as Hoops boss says rising star is going nowhere.

Danny Mandroiu (left) and Jack Byrne.
Danny Mandroiu (left) and Jack Byrne.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

STEPHEN BRADLEY SAYS he is confident Jack Byrne will return to Shamrock Rovers because the Republic of Ireland international is now “clearer in his head” about where he sees his future.

And the Hoops boss added that he is aware of “zero interest” in Danny Mandroiu, who filled the void left by the playmaker when he signed for APOEL Nicosia last year.

There were reports this week that Celtic were lining up a move for Mandroiu in the January transfer window having tracked his progress alongside former teammate Liam Scales, who left Tallaght Stadium for Glasgow in August.

Bradley insisted no club has made contact to try and do a deal for his 23-year-old talisman, who has a year left to run on his deal and has been on the fringes of the senior Republic of Ireland set-up.

stephen-bradley-celebrates-with-jack-byrne Stephen Bradley (left) with Byrne during his first spell at the club. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

“I’ve had zero interest off any club for Danny. I’ve had zero contact from any club. He is, in my opinion, and obviously I’m a bit biased, in with Dylan [Watts] in being up there with probably Georgie Kelly as the three best players in this country this year.

“I know you have [Will] Patching who has had a good season and [Ross] Tierney has done well, but I think those three have been the stand out players for me. There’s going to be interest there, but I’ve had zero contact from any club regarding Danny.”

Bradley has, however, been in constant dialogue with Byrne since he left Rovers for Cyprus but, as reported by The42 last week, he insists an offer to return has only come about in the last few days.

The Manchester City academy graduate had his contract terminated by mutual consent in September after a difficult spell with injury and fitness, as well as the sacking of manager Mick McCarthy who brought him to the club.

I speak to Jack regularly, I know he’s had a lot of interest from the last few months and we haven’t been one of them. I’ve stayed away from that conversation with Jack to give him that respect and allow him to make a decision.

“The last few days with Jack, I’ve had really good conversations with Jack. I think he’s much clearer in his head with what he wants to do. If one of them is coming home which I think it could well be, then we’re very interested in talking to him. He knows that, we’ve had that conversation. That happened recently in the last few days. 

“I think Jack has history with the club, we’ve history with Jack. I’ve spoken to him every month for the last three years maybe.

“We completely stayed away from this conversation with him to allow him space to decide what he wants to do. I think he’s become clearer in his head and that brings us into the picture.

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“Speaking to him this week he has become a lot clearer in his own head what he wants to do and that brings us into the picture, which is brilliant. 

“He’s in a good place in his head, he’s mature, and he’s been breaking things down. He’s done that right up until this week when we spoke to him.”

Movement on Byrne’s situation could happen before Rovers’ final game of the season at home to Drogheda United tomorrow – a fixture that is close to selling out as the hosts will be presented with the league trophy – and Bradley insists Byrne’s arrival would not be an issue for the balance of the midfield.

“No problem. He could play in any team. Dylan [Watts], Danny [Mandroiu] and Georgie Kelly have probably been the three best players in the country. Dylan has gone to another level this year, adding someone of jack’s quality would be brilliant.”

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