Belfast Telegraph

Linfield aiming to tie down loan star Conor Mitchell after Roy Carroll moves on

Linfield goalkeeper Conor Mitchell
Linfield goalkeeper Conor Mitchell

By Graham Luney

Linfield are hoping goalkeeper Conor Mitchell will agree a three-year deal as they aim to build again after Roy Carroll's departure.

The Belfast Telegraph yesterday revealed that former Northern Ireland hero Carroll was now looking for a new club after ending his memorable spell with the Blues.

While the 41-year-old stopper wasn't offered a new contract by Linfield, Mitchell could extend his stay at Windsor Park.

The ex-under-21 international, who spent the first half of last season on loan at St Johnstone before moving to the Blues in January, has been released by Premier League side Burnley.

Carroll won two Premiership titles, one Irish Cup and one League Cup with the Blues and his former international team-mate, Linfield chief David Healy, said: "Personally, I want to thank Roy for his excellent service, leadership, hard work and dedication over the past three years at Linfield.

"He will and should be remembered as one of the greatest goalkeepers in Irish league and Northern Ireland history.

"He leaves with our gratitude, our very best wishes for all he does in the future and in particular, for a full recovery from the unfortunate injury he sustained in January.

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"He leaves us all with many great memories."

Linfield keeper Gareth Deane stepped up to the challenge when called upon and Alex Moore enjoyed a good loan spell at Dungannon Swifts last term but the Blues are hoping 23-year-old Mitchell agrees a new deal.

Another player who could be on Healy's radar, however, is striker Matthew Shevlin after the 20-year-old turned down the offer of a new deal at Ballymena United.

Going out, Carroll may not be the only player heading for the Windsor Park exit door.

Striker Cameron Stewart, who was on loan at Glenavon from January until the end of the season, is expected to move on as is Jonathan Smith, who was on loan at Ards.

Czech forward Marek Cervenka - who had himself been on loan from Teplice - and Danish midfielder Benjamin Moller Nielsen are back in their native countries and may not return to the club.

• Dungannon Swifts have signed centre-back Callum Byers from Ards.

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