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Dublin: 7°C Tuesday 11 May 2021

Dundalk win race to sign ex-Liverpool defender Daniel Cleary

A loan deal for Everton striker Sam Byrne is also set to be announced.

Cleary left the Reds in 2016.
Cleary left the Reds in 2016.

DUNDALK HAVE ADDED centre-half Daniel Cleary to their ranks on the eve of the new season.

The 21-year-old had looked set to join Shamrock Rovers after lining out for the Hoops in pre-season friendlies during a recent trial period.

However, Dubliner Cleary has instead opted to link up with the Premier Division and FAI Cup runners-up on a two-year deal.

Spending four years at Liverpool, he featured on the bench in the 2015 Europa League, but left for Birmingham City the following year after Jurgen Klopp took over.

He departed the Blues last month, having played regularly for their U23s, and will bring another defensive option to Stephen Kenny’s squad.

“I’m delighted to get settled in and I’m looking forward to the games kicking in tomorrow,” Cleary told the club.

“I’m ready to go and I can’t wait for it to start — to get in and get points on the board.

The gaffer got in contact during the week and I was delighted to grab the chance. I knew a few of the lads before so I’ve settled in quite quickly. I’ll get to know the rest soon.

“I’ve watched the League of Ireland when I’ve come home during the summers and they’re probably the biggest club in Ireland at the moment. They’ve won the league numerous times and kicked on in Europe as well so I’m looking forward to doing that myself.”

Source: Dundalk FC/YouTube

Meanwhile, the Louth club are also set to announce a loan move for Everton striker Sam Byrne.

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The Kildare native, whose brother Adam plays rugby for Leinster, has been with the Toffees since 2014 following a stint in Manchester United’s academy.

22-year-old Byrne has yet to make a first-team appearances for the Merseysiders and spent 11 months out of action after suffering a broken leg in March 2016.

An Ireland international at every level up to U21, he will aim to gain first-team experience with the Lilywhites this season, although Kenny has suggested that it will take him some time to get his fitness levels up to the required level.

Dundalk have already added Ronan Murray and the returning Pat Hoban to their forward line, while David McMillan has departed for St Johnstone.

They face Bray Wanderers at home in tomorrow’s league opener.

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Ben Blake

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