Belfast Telegraph

Now Liverpool want Cliftonville striker Rory Donnelly

Liverpool last night entered the race to snap up Cliftonville striker Rory Donnelly.

The Belfast Telegraph can exclusively reveal that Kop boss Kenny Dalglish contacted Cliftonville chairman Gerard Lawlor to discuss figures yesterday and the Merseyside giants are set to follow up their interest in the 19-year-old hotshot by lodging a firm bid today.

“It's not every day you get Kenny Dalglish ringing you and asking how the Reds got on at the weekend,” joked Lawlor last night.

“Unsurprisingly, his main reason for phoning was to declare an interest in Rory Donnelly. He made it clear that Liverpool want to sign him and that they would be back in touch.”

Cliftonville have already accepted a bid in the region of £100, 000 from Swansea for the 17-goal strike sensation and, while Everton have registered a verbal interest, city rivals Liverpool are set to steal a march with a cash offer later today.

Anfield Chief Executive Damien Comolli was busy casting an eye over other potential transfer targets in France this weekend but will contact Cliftonville this afternoon with a view to securing Donnelly’s signature as quickly as possible.

“We always said that, as much as we would love to keep him at Solitude, we would not stand in Rory’s way if the opportunity of a move to full-time football came along,” added Lawlor.

“We have held a number of discussions with various interested parties over these last few weeks but I’ll admit that getting a phonecall from Kenny Dalglish threw me a little bit — it took a wee while before I realised it was actually him and not somebody messing me about.”

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