Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 21 October 2014

Swansea snap up Donnelly

Rory Donnelly

Swansea have secured the signing of Cliftonville striker Rory Donnelly on a three-and-half-year deal.

The 19-year-old's move will be officially completed once the necessary paperwork is processed when the transfer window opens on January 1, and he is set to join up with his new team-mates next week. Swansea had already agreed an undisclosed fee with the Belfast club, as well as personal terms with the player, who completed his medical on Friday.

Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers said: "We are delighted to be able to attract one of Northern Ireland's biggest talents."

The Swans had been in pole position to sign the Northern Ireland Under-21 international, who has scored 17 goals so far this season, when they had an initial offer of around £100,000 accepted by Cliftonville, but interest from Merseyside giants Everton and Liverpool saw the Swans told to up their bid.

However, Rodgers revealed on Thursday that a new fee had been agreed and, with Donnelly understood to have favoured a move to south Wales after visiting Swansea last week, the striker has now put pen to paper on a contract that will keep him at the Liberty Stadium until the summer of 2015.

Rodgers said: "I am really looking forward to helping Rory fulfil his potential and, hopefully, over the next few years ensure that Swansea City has another exciting young player blossoming at the club."

The deal is something of a coup for Swansea given they had to fight off the likes of Everton and Liverpool, and Donnelly revealed the time he spent with fellow countryman Rodgers proved decisive in him making what he described as a "dream" move.

The teenager said: "Everything has happened so quickly that I still can't quite believe it. It's a dream come true. I was really impressed with what the manager had to say when I met him. He couldn't have done anything more to impress me.

"I believe I am signing for a brilliant manager who is prepared to give youth a chance. I also met the likes of Scott Sinclair and Joe Allen when I was over here last week and it only reinforced the belief that Swansea is the right club for me.

"I know there was serious interest from Everton and Liverpool, but I love the way Swansea play the game and I think it will suit me. The manager has told me there is no pressure on me because I am only 19. In time there will be pressure, but not right now. He has shown a lot of faith in me and, hopefully, in time I can repay him with plenty of goals."

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