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De Boer snaps up Mulraney as Irish winger joins Hearts exodus

The former Ireland U21 international has signed for 2018 MLS champions Atlanta United.

Celtic's Callum McGregor tangles with Jake Mulraney of Hearts.
Celtic's Callum McGregor tangles with Jake Mulraney of Hearts.
Image: Craig Watson

MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER outfit Atlanta United have announced the signing of Irish winger Jake Mulraney from Hearts for an undisclosed fee.

Mulraney joins an exodus of players from the Scottish Premiership club, as new manager Daniel Stendel makes sweeping changes in a bid to lift them off the bottom of the table.

Among those already to depart this month are Mulraney’s compatriots Glenn Whelan and Aidan Keena. Whelan remains a free agent, while Keena has signed for Hartlepool United.

Irish international goalkeeper Colin Doyle has also reportedly been advised that he’s free to find a new club.

Mulraney is to take his career across the Atlantic to join the 2018 MLS champions, who are managed by legendary former Netherlands defender Frank de Boer.

“We’re excited to add another quality attacking player to our club in Jake,” Atlanta United vice president and technical director Carlos Bocanegra said.

“He’s a direct player with a lot of pace who can play anywhere across the front three. As he’s in the middle of a season, Jake will be able to get up to full fitness quickly and immediately compete.” 

jake-mulraney-dejected-after-the-game Mulraney is a former Republic of Ireland U21 international. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

The 23-year-old Dubliner leaves Hearts just six months after he was rewarded with a three-year contract extension by Craig Levein, Stendel’s predecessor.

Mulraney played 52 times for Hearts, who he joined from Inverness Caledonian Thistle in 2018. One of those appearances came in last season’s Scottish Cup final defeat to Celtic, after he had delivered a man-of-the-match performance in the win against his former club Inverness in the semi-final.  

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Mulraney, who was previously on the books at Nottingham Forest and Queens Park Rangers, has been capped by the Republic of Ireland up to U21 level.

The former Lourdes Celtic and Crumlin United player featured prominently in the qualifying campaign for the 2019 European U21 Championships, during which he scored in a 2-1 loss away to Norway.

The 2020 MLS season is due to begin on 29 February.

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Paul Dollery

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