Belfast Telegraph

Linfield favourites to land transfer-listed Braniff

By Stuart McKinley

Kevin Braniff has played his last game for Portadown.

Linfield will now lead the chase for the 30-year-old when the transfer window opens in January after he was placed on the transfer list by the Shamrock Park club last night following a fall out with manager Ronnie McFall.

And in a sensational move Braniff, who has been captain of the Ports this season in the absence of Keith O'Hara, has also been told to stay away from the club.

The Blues, who were keen to land the former Northern Ireland international in the summer, will be favourites to sign him in the New Year. Braniff, who joined the Ports from Millwall in 2006, was substituted during Tuesday night's 4-0 defeat to Ballymena United in the League Cup and that now looks almost certain to be his last appearance in the red shirt.

"I don't ever want to play again for Ronnie McFall," Braniff told the Belfast Telegraph last night.

"After the way I have been treated over the last month there is no chance of that happening."

The relationship between player and manager has deteriorated over the last month, since a match against Warrenpoint Town, and the teams will meet again at Shamrock Park tomorrow without Braniff on the pitch.

"It all goes back to the Warrenpoint game at Dungannon a few weeks ago," said Braniff.

"We'd been playng well and winning matches. We'd been top of league just before that game and I think a win that day would have put us back on top.

"Ronnie changed the tactics because they were a small team and went long ball – we drew 2-2 – and that has continued since.

"In my opinion the bad habits from last year have crept back into the team

"After we lost to Glenavon there were a lot of things said in the dressing room. I asked if he was going to take any responsibility and since then the relationship has deteriorated.

"Tuesday was the last straw for both of us. I stormed down the tunnel, I was completely frustrated, but I didn't feel I was the worst player on the pitch.

"I went to training last night, but I was told not to train. Ronnie took me into his office and told me I was on the transfer list and to stay away from club.

"There was a team meeting and I was told to stay away from the meeting."

The club released a statement to confirm that Braniff has been transfer listed.

It reads: "Team captain Kevin Braniff has tonight been made available to other clubs.

"Braniff, one of the most technically gifted players in the Irish League, is being made available either in a straight cash, player exchange or cash-plus-player deal."

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