Top MLS club joins race to sign Dundalk star

Patrick McEleney is considering a move to a ‘top Major League Soccer club’ as he prepares to decide his next step, writes Stephen Barry.

Oldham Athletic were reported to be in pole position to add McEleney to their growing Irish contingent, although Wigan Athletic, Blackburn Rovers, Coventry City, Doncaster Rovers and the unnamed American side have also been linked with the 25-year-old.

McEleney, who scored 10 goals this year, including three which were nominated for goal of the season, is out of contract with Dundalk and told the Derry Journal he’s “undecided” over his next move.

“There are big clubs involved and I’ve met a few now,” said McEleney.

“The MLS is really appealing but everything has to be right. It’s not just about me, it’s about everyone.

“It’s dragging on a bit now but I expected that anyway. There has been interest from here and other places like America, England and Scotland, but I’m just going to take my time and try and make the right decision.

“I wouldn’t say anyone is leading the race or anyone is coming last, it’s just a case of weighing everything up and there’s still a lot of thinking to be done.

“It’s always nice to have interest from everywhere because, to be honest, I’m undecided on where I’m going to go.

“I’ll just take it as it comes and see what materialises. I reckon I’m a couple of weeks away from making a decision.”

Dundalk were boosted yesterday as Robbie Benson signed a new one-year deal with the Lilywhites.

“I’m happy to get it done. I’m going in to my third season with the club now so I’m looking forward to it,” said Benson.

“I’ve had a very successful two years and obviously losing the FAI Cup final last season left a bitter taste in our mouths but it’s given us a good drive to come back next year focused and hopefully re-gain everything that we gave away last year, progress in Europe and retain the EA Sports Cup as well.”


By Stephen Barry

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