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Two clubs target Curtis Allen while Glentoran launch bid for Ballymena star

 

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Wanted man: Curtis Allen

Wanted man: Curtis Allen

©INPHO/Stephen Hamilton

Wanted man: Curtis Allen

Glenavon and Ballymena United are waiting to pounce if Curtis Allen leaves Glentoran this summer.

Allen's contract runs out at the end of the season and the Glens have not yet offered the 31-year-old a new deal.

If fresh terms aren't agreed with the east Belfast side, the Lurgan Blues and David Jeffrey's side are chasing his signature.

The former Linfield and Coleraine frontman is hungry to return to action after a long spell on the sidelines and that's his primary objective.

"My biggest priority is getting fit and returning to the team so I can score goals," said Allen.

"My future will take care of itself and eventually something will be sorted."

Goal machine Allen has been a wonderful player for the Glens, scoring 110 times in 231 appearances, but manager Mick McDermott has a call to make whether to retain his services or allow him to leave.

The striker made his Glentoran debut in January 2014 and helped the club lift the Irish Cup the following year.

It is also understood that the Glens have made a substantial cash offer for Ballymena United striker Adam Lecky and hope to sign the player this month.

The Glens are awaiting a response from United following the Lecky bid.

There is light at the end of the tunnel for Allen, however, with a return to the first-team squad imminent.

And it can’t come soon enough for the striker, whose early career took him to Bournemouth.

“I will do anything to get on the pitch because you want that feeling of scoring goals,” he added. “You miss it and we have been playing brilliant football. I was too eager when I came back the last time and that can’t happen again. I’ve been out a long time but I had to come back at the right time and there’s still a lot of games left.

“It’s been a niggly groin injury, a problem with my abductor. It was tight in pre-season and I felt it in a Ballymena game. I got a cortisone injection and came back too quickly.

“We have tried to structure the rehab better to make sure I don’t break down again. I’ve been training for a few weeks and hopefully I’ll be back soon.

“It’s been heartbreaking at times, even though it’s fantastic to see how well the team is doing. You are sitting in the stands and it’s frustrating because I’ve been such a big part of the team over the last few seasons.

“I feel I would have scored a lot of goals, but that’s football and it’s bad luck.

“Mick (McDermott) said earlier in the season you can be a hero in 40 games or four games. I wasn’t thinking at that stage it would be the latter for me but that’s where I’m at.”

Glentoran’s incredible form has deepened Allen’s desire to come back with a bang. A 15-game unbeaten league run leaves McDermott’s side top of the Danske Bank Premiership table.

“I’m not too far off the first team,” added Allen. “It’s up to Mick if he wants to put me on the bench sometime and bring me on. I can’t rush into playing and we have a bigger squad so that shouldn’t happen. I hope to be involved in the near future, maybe next week if not this. It’s a fantastic title race but we aren’t getting carried away.

“All the teams up there have a chance and it’s important we keep preparing the right way.”

Crusaders’ transfer target Cameron Dummigan, meanwhile, has also been on Glentoran’s radar. The former Northern Ireland Under-21 defender held talks with the Glens as well as the Crues.

Stephen Baxter’s side are also being linked with a surprise move for former defender Josh Robinson, who is at Linfield. But the question is, as in the case of Michael O’Connor when the Glens expressed an interest, would the Blues sell to a title rival?

In the summer of 2017, the Blues pipped their cross-town rivals to his signature after the Irish FA stated that he had been registered as a Linfield player.

The IFA received forms from Linfield and then Crusaders on the same day with both clubs claiming they had signed the former York City player.

Crusaders sought legal advice over Robinson and made their feelings known about the move to the Irish FA. Robinson’s Linfield contract runs until the end of next season.

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