Linfield are set to miss out on signing Malta’s Kyrian Nwoko as the striker appears set to join the League of Ireland instead.
The Valletta star had been expected to arrive at Windsor Park to compete with Christy Manzinga and loan signing Billy Chadwick, who came in from Grant McCann’s Hull City, for game-time up top.
However, as club chairman Roy McGivern told the Belfast Telegraph last week, Brexit issues led to complications over the deal.
Now it has been reported that Nwoko will remain within the European Union, moving instead to Dublin side St Patrick’s Athletic.
The Times of Malta, who broke the initial story of Nwoko’s discussions with Linfield, have now reported that a deal is set to be completed with the League of Ireland side in the coming days.
McGivern said last week that post-Brexit rules were making Nwoko’s proposed transfer to Windsor Park ‘very difficult’ despite a fee and a two-year deal being agreed:
“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.”
The blow will have been softened somewhat by current striker Manzinga’s rejuvenated performances in this summer’s UEFA qualifiers but nonetheless, McGivern’s words indicate that the Blues will look to add more competition up top before the Danske Bank Premiership season kicks off on August 28.