Belfast Telegraph

McGinn has six offers on the table as Aberdeen confirm interest

By Gareth Hanna

Northern Ireland midfielder Niall McGinn has half a dozen offers to mull over but is in no hurry to decide on his future.

That's according to agent Gerry Carlile, who says the 30-year-old holds all the cards for the mid-season window.

McGinn left South Korean club Gwangju last month, having moved to Asia during the summer.

"Niall's going to be fine," said Carlile, speaking on Cool FM's Football Show. "He has about six offers on the table so he has the power at the moment. He doesn't really have to do anything.

"We're just going to talk to the clubs that have offers in and maybe others will come in. January is a very difficult window to bring in quality (and Niall is) a player on a free who has over 50 caps, who has scored at the Euros."

Earlier this week, Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes said he is keen to bring McGinn back to Pittodrie.

“Niall is someone who I have kept in touch with anyway – always with the intention if it hadn’t worked out for him in South Korea," he said.

“We have kept in touch and it is on-going. Like all good players, which Niall is, there is more than one club interested so we have got to accept that.

“If Niall gives us the encouragement and sees coming back to Aberdeen as the right decision for him then myself and the board have discussed it at length that we would like to be a club that would welcome him back.”

McGinn, along with Gareth McAuley and Stuart Dallas, are NI internationals who began their careers in the Irish League. Agent Carlile joined the chorus of voices tipping Glenavon's Mark Sykes to be the latest player to make a move across the water.

Rumours linking the 20-year-old midfield maestro with a transfer to the likes of Leicester, Blackburn and Bolton have been rife, but if he or any of the Irish League's other promising players are to get their big moves, Carlile says there's no room for off-days.

"Sykes is the one definitely this year but it's a matter of consistency," said Carlile. "If you're doing it part-time, the clubs across the water are looking for you to do it week-in, week-out and not just to be good but to be extraordinary.

"Last year, playing with Cairan Martyn, who is a great player and in many respects a legend, it didn't allow Sykes to get as forward as Sammy Clingan does. We've seen what Sykes can offer.

"I spoke to his father a few years ago about him and said I would hold off for the time being. Then of course I'm back on the phone now that he's doing the damage. I also think Jamie McGonigle (Coleraine striker) has done very well and you can never say never."

Carlile reckons progression through to the local senior game before looking for a transfer, as McGinn and Sykes have both done, could be the best route to the top.

"From what I can see there are more players stepping out of the Irish League and making a career for themselves," he said. "I wonder does it have anything to do with the fact that 16 is a very young age to send our kids away to another country to build a career for themselves. I wouldn't send my son away to be a brick-layer or a solicitor at 16 but we send our kids away to be footballers.

"I'm not convinced they've had the preparation, particularly the mental preparation, to go away to another country and carve out a life for themselves. The homesickness is incredible and the mental strength that the kids need in order to survive is incredible."

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