Belfast Telegraph

Leicester lead Blackburn and Celtic in race to sign Glenavon star Sykes

By Graham Luney

Glenavon midfielder Mark Sykes has emerged as a transfer target for English Premier League side Leicester City.

The Foxes have been impressed by the youngster's performances for his club and the Northern Ireland Under-21 side this season.

Leicester, who were shock winners of the title in 2016, are not the only cross-channel outfit interested in the talented 20-year-old with League One side Blackburn Rovers also monitoring the situation.

Rovers have scouted the player several times and believe with full-time training he could make the grade as a professional. It is understood, however, that Leicester are ahead in a race that may include Celtic if they follow up interest shown earlier in the campaign.

Glenavon manager Gary Hamilton has spoken about Sykes and other gifted kids at the Mourneview outfit, outlining his belief that they could enjoy fine careers in England or Scotland.

The Lurgan Blues visit The Oval tonight for a Danske Bank Premiership clash with Glentoran, and an away win would lift them five points behind leaders Coleraine.

Meanwhile, Crusaders star Gavin Whyte made several Scottish sides sit up and take notice at the weekend with his last-gasp goal at Dundee United taking the Seaview men into the semi-finals of the Irn-Bru Cup.

Whyte could have been playing for United in the quarter-final but they refused to reach the asking price of Crusaders a couple of years ago. Scouts are expected to keep an eye on Whyte in the coming weeks.

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