Belfast Telegraph

Linfield are all set to snap up Northern Ireland star Grant McCann

By Paul Ferguson

Experienced Northern Ireland international Grant McCann will fulfil a boyhood dream today by signing for Linfield.

Veteran midfielder McCann, capped 39 times by Northern Ireland, has agreed to join his pal, ex-international team-mate and Blues manager Warren Feeney at Windsor Park.

The Belfast Telegraph understands that Peterborough United, McCann's club for the last four years, have given their permission for the 34 year old to leave London Road for the Blues on a free transfer.

And it is believed, with McCann having come to an agreement on personal terms, the proud Sandy Row native will undergo a medical this morning before becoming Feeney's first signing in the January transfer window.

Feeney has been desperate to strengthen his squad - especially the spine of the team - as the Blues look to wrestle the Gibson Cup away from Cliftonville in his first season in charge at Windsor Park.

And the capture of the talented McCann is certainly a case of the Blues putting their money where their mouth is.

When he discovered that McCann was interested in coming home after an 18 year career in England, especially to the club he has supported since a boy, Feeney, a long time admirer of the central midfielder, jumped at the chance.

Linfield are currently second in the Danske Bank Premiership, one point behind Crusaders and after their win over Tobermore United in the Irish Cup last Saturday, Feeney was confident the deal would go through.

He said: “I hope to sign an experienced player who would be a great addition to Linfield.

“It would be a fantastic signing for Linfield and would show the intentions of this club.

“So hopefully it works out.”

Feeney also hopes to secure a deal with Warrenpoint striker Daniel Hughes, a stubborn defender and another experienced midfielder before the window closes at the end of this month.

McCann, who made his international debut in 2001 against Malta, has only played a handful of matches for League One outfit Peterborough this season, spending most of his time coaching the club’s under-age teams.

He joined The Posh in 2010, two years later was made club captain and enjoyed campaigns in the Championship and League One.

McCann started his professional career with West Ham United but could only muster four appearances in the Premier League with the Hammers.

After a lona spell in Scotland with Livingston he moved on to Cheltenham Town in 2003, before arriving at Barnsley four years later, then Scunthorpe United in 2008 and finally Peterborough United.

The silky midfielder played schoolboy football for Distillery, but it is brother Ryan who made a name for himself in the Irish League, primarily with the Whites and Crues, but, of course, was also at Windsor Park with Linfield.

McCann follows in the footsteps of international team-mates Keith Gillespie and Peter Kennedy who returned home to the Irish League after long careers in England.

Gillespie joined Glentoran while Kennedy re-signed for his former club Portadown.

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