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Darren McCauley agrees deal to join Derry City as McCrudden could follow

Coleraine winger Darren McCauley looks set to return to hometown club Derry City.

The 27-year-old had been transfer-listed at the Showgrounds and was the subject of a flurry of interest from Crusaders, Larne, Cork City, League One strugglers Plymouth Argyle and Scottish Championship side Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

However, McCauley and Derry are hoping the deal could be completed within 48 hours, despite a 'tentative offer' being made by Inverness.

“I’m hoping it can get sorted soon because it’s been such a long drawn-out process. I obviously want my future sorted but, at the same time, the two clubs have to come to some sort of agreement,” McCauley told the Derry Journal.

“Whatever choice I make I’m sure I’ll be happy but at the same time it’s a great opportunity to play for Derry City. It’s an exciting time for the club but you also have to look after yourself as a player.

“Declan brings that passion and the backroom staff are all from the city. It’s a new era for the club and obviously for me personally, it’s an opportunity to test myself in the League of Ireland and prove myself."

Coleraine chief Rod McAree, however, has warned that the move will only be completed with his club's say so.

"A deal has to be agreeable with Coleraine Football Club," said McAree.

"The club needs to be looked after in terms of the value of the player. We needed extra bodies, particularly with Darren likely to leave.

"We've missed out on one or two but we have added to the squad and that was important because I felt the squad needed more depth. It's important to have more options."

Derry could also be closing in on a deal for Institute striker Michael McCrudden. Having netted 18 league goals so far this season, the 27-year-old was the subject of a bid from Coleraine as well as interest from Ballymena United and Glenavon.

However, McAree hinted that McCrudden could be set for a switch to the League of Ireland.

"We spoke to Michael and put a bid in but I'm not sure where that is," said McAree. "Derry City are interested and they can offer him a full-time deal. He's a Derry lad and supporter but we will hang onto hope until told otherwise."

McAree is hoping to hold further discussions with former Derry striker Dean Shields in the coming days.

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