Linfield chairman Roy McGivern believes the club are moving towards an agreement with manager David Healy over a new contract and expects an announcement to be made in the near future.
McGivern’s comments come a week after Healy stated that negotiations had “dragged on” and the issue was in the club’s hands. The former Manchester United and Rangers striker added he would find out in due course if the Windsor Park outfit wanted him to take the Blues forward.
Linfield are keen to keep Healy, whose current deal is up at the end of the 2021-2022 season, with McGivern revealing talks have taken place with the manager’s representative Colin Murdock, who played with Northern Ireland’s record goalscorer at international level and at Preston.
Healy is preparing his team for tomorrow night’s Europa Conference League second qualifying round home leg against Bosnian outfit Borac Banja Luka after being knocked out of the Champions League last week by Zalgiris Vilnius from Lithuania.
There has been concern regarding the contract situation from some Blues fans who have revelled in Healy inspiring the side to four league titles in five years plus a double last season but the Linfield chairman says it is a matter that should not be rushed, insisting that the new deal must be right for both parties.
“People think these things are agreed and signed overnight,” McGivern told the Belfast Telegraph.
“We had a two-week break at the end of last season. Obviously David took the opportunity for a short break away and we have come back into a full-time set-up and the whole focus has been on preparation for the European games. It’s not as if the club has forgotten about David’s contract.
“We have made an offer to him. I had a very positive meeting with him out in Lithuania. This is negotiation and it has to be right for both parties.
“We are working closely with David’s agent Colin Murdock and there has been further correspondence this week. It’s moving towards a resolution. David’s not worried about it and the club’s not concerned about it. I think we are moving towards an agreement quite soon.
“We aren’t going to rush into anything. David has a year left so there is no pressure in that regard. He’s getting on with his business and we are getting on with ours.
“I expect something to be announced very soon but obviously that is subject to final negotiations with David and his representative.”
Meanwhile, Linfield are experiencing work permit problems due to new Brexit regulations in their quest to complete the signing of Maltese striker Kyrian Nwoko from Valletta.
It is understood a fee has been agreed between Linfield and Valletta for Nwoko, who has won 21 caps for Malta. The front man is in line for a two-year deal at Windsor but the transfer is now on a knife-edge.
McGivern explained: “It has been reported in the press that we are trying to sign an overseas international and there have been difficulties with that. It is not resolved yet so there may be some more business done before the Irish League starts at the end of August.
“If the overseas player doesn’t work out we will have to work at a replacement for him. Post-Brexit immigration rules are very, very stringent. Previously you could have brought in a player from another EU country without any real difficulty but now it’s a points-based scheme. Football is the same as every other occupation and it is proving very difficult.
“We are probably the first team from here to try and bring someone in this way and it’s been a challenge. It is still ongoing so we have to make a call at some stage about how it will work out.”