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Dublin: 4°C Tuesday 26 January 2021
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In demand: Liverpool join the race for Cliftonville wonderkid Rory Donnelly

The teen is expected at Melwood later today as Kenny Dalglish looks to prize him away from Swansea.

Image: ©INPHO/Presseye/Andrew Paton

“BAD SANTA” KENNY DALGLISH is hoping to hijack Swansea’s Christmas present by swooping for highly-rated Cliftonville teen Rory Donnelly at the 11th hour.

The 19-year-old striker has become hot property in recent weeks, attracting attention from Swans boss Brendan Rogers and Everton’s David Moyes as he netted 17 goals for Cliftonville this season.

Cliftonville accepted an offer from Swansea last week — believed to be in the region of £100,000 — before Liverpool declared a late interest in the Northern Irish wonderkid.

Donnelly is expected at the club’s famous Melwood training facility later today before he makes a final decision on his future, and Cliftonville chairman Gerard Lawlor has indicated that the club would like to have any transfer tied up this side of Christmas.

“A number of other clubs have made their interest known to us and, as disappointed as we would be to lose a very  talented player, we always maintained we would not stand in his way if such an opportunity came along,” Lawlor said.

“As things stand, however, only Swansea have submitted a written offer – which we accepted on Tuesday – and I would  like to once again place on record my thanks to their chairman, Huw Jenkins, for the respect he has shown Cliftonville Football Club throughout the entire process.”

It’s important, however, that the continued transfer speculation is not allowed to distract either the player or indeed his team-mates during what is shaping up to be a very busy festive schedule for us all and, ideally, we would request that any clubs who would like to follow up their inquiries with a firm offer do so no later than this Friday, December 23.

Donnelly caught a few eyes last month when he scored what will surely be a contender for IFA Premiership Goal of the Season in Cliftonville’s 4-2 win over Linfield. Not bad, eh?

YouTube Credit: derwelcheelch

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Niall Kelly

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