Belfast Telegraph

Linfield will hold out for full valuation of Smyth after reported QPR bid rejected

By Gareth Hanna

Linfield are happy to let star winger Paul Smyth move on a higher level, but only if the club's valuation of the teenager is met.

That's according to club chairman Roy McGivern - who has spoken of the awkward position his club finds itself in.

Smyth is attracting interest from English Championship clubs. QPR have reportedly had two bids rejected for the player while Reading were thought to have sent a scout to Linfield's 2-0 win over Ards last week.

And while the Blues would be happy to see the 19 year-old get his move into full-time football, McGivern says his club won't budge on their valuation of their asset.

"We're all very keen for Paul to progress and I have no doubt that he will play at a higher level but it remains to be seen whether that is this year or next year. We don't want to stand in anybody's way but the club has to be recompensed," he said.

"There has been a significant amount of interest in Paul, which is no surprise, but he is still very much a Linfield player and will be playing at Dungannon this weekend. We will see what happens. There is interest and if a club meets our valuation of the player, then the club will discuss it, but we're not at that stage yet. No decision has been made on Paul's future."

McGivern's comments come after Sky Sports said Queens Park Rangers, managed by Ian Holloway, have made a second bid for Smyth.

The 19 year-old is under contract for another two seasons at Windsor Park but is attracting plenty of interest from English clubs, with Reading's scout said to have been in attendance to watch Smyth set up Linfield's second goal for Kirk Millar with a left-wing cross.

Smyth netted eight Danske Bank Premiership goals last season and has long been tipped to move across the water due to his starring performances that helped Linfield snatch the title.

The attacker was also invited to join Northern Ireland's squad at Euro 2016 to provide experience and to increase numbers in training for NI boss Michael O'Neill.

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