Belfast Telegraph

Linfield boss David Healy is keen to net veteran Roy Carroll

By Graham Luney

Roy Carroll could be the first name on Linfield's team sheet next season.

The Belfast Telegraph understands that the Blues are keen to net the Northern Ireland international when his spell at Notts County ends.

The Fermanagh man is expected to return home from England next summer and a deal with Linfield could be finalised.

Carroll hopes to be involved in Northern Ireland's Euro 2016 adventure in France before retiring from international commitments to focus on his club career.

A move for the 38-year-old was discussed when Warren Feeney was Linfield boss but now it appears that Carroll is set to link up with another former international comrade.

Blues supremo David Healy knows the former Manchester United stopper's experience, class and leadership qualities would be a significant boost to his squad. Carroll began his career in the youth ranks at Fivemiletown United and Ballinamallard United before joining Hull City in 1995 but a move to Linfield would hand him the opportunity to win Irish League trophies in the autumn of his career.

The 41-times capped Northern Ireland international would earn wages of around £400 to £500 a week at Linfield - much lower figures than when he signed for Manchester United for £2.5m in July, 2001.

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Carroll was first choice goalkeeper under Sir Alex Ferguson for four years and at the height of his club career at United would have pocketed £20,000 a week.

His current club Notts County could not match those figures but Carroll would still have earned significant sums at West Ham, Rangers, Danish outfit Odense and Greek Superleague sides Olympiacos and OFI Crete.

Carroll battled gambling, drink problems and depression in his career but moving to Greece changed his outlook on life.

He previously stated: "You get a lot of knock-backs in football, you get the high life and the low life and I've had a lot of low lifes. If you're young, you don't play and you're getting £20,000 a week, do you sit in the house?

"I was concentrating on going out, not on my football."

The return of the Northern Ireland favourite to Windsor Park would also leave Ross Glendinning sweating on his number one role at the Blues next season.

Glendinning has been given a chance to showcase his shot-stopping skills after Feeney allowed former Northern Ireland international Jonny Tuffey to join Glenavon in May.

Linfield boss David Healy is keen to strengthen his squad during the January transfer window and the club's board will make funds available, however Carroll will not agree any Blues deal until after the Euro 2016 finals.

Another surprise option for Carroll could be a reunion with old Manchester United team-mates at Salford City, the club which was taken over by Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville, Phil Neville, Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt in 2014.

Another Fermanagh man, Gareth McClelland, has left his position as chief scout and head of player recruitment at Halifax to accept a similar role with Salford City.

Belfast Telegraph


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