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Linfield hope new deal for Joel Cooper will help stave off interest from English duo

 

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Joel Cooper

Joel Cooper

�INPHO/Matt Mackey

Joel Cooper

Linfield have offered winger Joel Cooper a new contract amid interest in the 24-year-old from cross-channel clubs.

League One sides Oxford United and Shrewsbury Town have been linked with summer moves for the former Glenavon ace, while the Blues' Premiership rivals Larne are watching developments.

But boss David Healy is determined to hold onto the man who has helped his side storm to back to back titles.

Cooper, who has one year left on his contract, has netted 11 goals and delivered 13 assists in 33 appearances this term and has been one of the best players in the Premiership.

Former Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill called Cooper and Paul Smyth into his Euro 2016 training camp to offer both experience.

Linfield ace Smyth later left or QPR and is now a senior international while Cooper, who didn't seal a big move, is still hoping to realise that dream.

Oxford in particular are admirers of Irish League talent, swooping for Gavin Whyte and Mark Sykes in recent seasons.

If Cooper does leave Windsor Park, Linfield may step up their interest in Glenavon winger Josh Daniels.

The Lurgan Blues, who have signed winger Peter Campbell from Loughgall, know Daniels is a wanted man with Linfield, Glentoran, Coleraine and his former team Derry City, as well as English Football League clubs, pondering a move.

Glenavon chairman Adrian Teer says the 24-year-old still has ambitions of making it in the full-time game.

"There is media speculation but it's sometimes unfounded," he said.

"There has been no approach from any club to speak to Josh Daniels. His contract is up at the end of next season.

"He remains a Glenavon player and we've had no enquiries about him.

"The ball's in Josh's court, given his contract situation and that's football.

"He will be with us next season unless there are developments. Josh is a talented lad and a player with ambitions of playing full-time football."

Ards, meanwhile, are hoping Linfield will let their talented teenager Jake Corbett join them in a loan deal.

Corbett played for Ards boss John Bailie's Co Down side at the SuperCupNI tournament.

Belfast Telegraph