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Cork City boss hopeful as talks begin with Nigel Clough over key defender Delaney

John Caulfield is keen to extend Burton Albion defender Ryan Delaney’s stay at Turner’s Cross.

Ryan Delaney celebrates after Kevin O'Connor scored the winner for Cork City against Sligo Rovers on Monday.
Ryan Delaney celebrates after Kevin O'Connor scored the winner for Cork City against Sligo Rovers on Monday.
Image: Bryan Keane/INPHO

CORK CITY MANAGER John Caulfield hopes to agree a new deal for Ryan Delaney within a fortnight — and there’s even a chance that the central defender’s move to Leeside could be made permanent.

Delaney has been a revelation since joining City this season on loan from English Championship outfit Burton Albion. The 20-year-old has played in all 18 of the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division leaders’ competitive games in 2017, in which they’ve managed to keep 11 clean sheets during an impressive unbeaten run.

According to the terms of his original loan deal, Delaney is due to return to Burton — who had a point to spare in the battle to avoid relegation from the Championship — in July. However, Caulfield is keen to retain Delaney and he confirmed this afternoon that talks have already begun with Burton Albion manager Nigel Clough.

“It’s progressing. In modern football things don’t get sorted with one phone call unfortunately,” Caulfield said at Cork City’s training ground at Bishopstown ahead of Friday’s visit of Shamrock Rovers to Turner’s Cross.

“In the old days two people agreed something and that was it. Nowadays the football market is controlled by agents and more so in England where agents own players now rather than the clubs; they more or less control and run what happens.

“So it’s not as simple as that but there’s a lot of positive talking going on, a lot of ongoing talks, and I’d be hopeful that in the next two weeks that situation would be resolved one way or the other.”

Delaney has been a key player for City this season, having slotted in seamlessly at the heart of their defence following the untimely departure of Kenny Browne for Waterford on the eve of the new campaign.

A native of Wexford, Delaney left Wexford Youths in July of last year to sign a two-year contract with Burton. He had yet to make his first-team debut for the club when he agreed a loan move to Cork City back in January.

When asked if Delaney could potentially sign a permanent deal with City, despite the fact that he remains under contract with Burton until next summer, Caulfield said: “There are a couple of options. But it’s the agents who decide that.

“It’s just different because in the modern era you have people that represent players that are really, really good, and their players are their number one [priority]. But you’re also in an era where sometimes the agents are more important than the players. That’s just the way it is.

“From our point of view, certainly a couple of weeks ago I thought it would be resolved quicker, but I can’t do anything about it. I have to go home at night and sleep, and let time sort this one out. But I’d be hopeful in the next two weeks, that by the [mid-season] break, we’ll have something sorted one way or the other.”

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Paul Dollery

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