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Rory Patterson up for sale as Derry count cost of missing out on Europe


Rory Patterson has left Derry City

Rory Patterson has left Derry City

Lorcan Doherty

Rory Patterson has left Derry City

Derry City fans are coming to terms with the shock news that top scorer Rory Patterson has been placed on the transfer list.

And he is joined on the departure list at the Brandywell by defender Shane McEleney.

Just weeks after manager Peter Hutton denied that the striker would be going anywhere, it is understood the former Northern Ireland international has been made available to other clubs due to financial reasons.

The club's failure to qualify for European competition next season, alongside their lowly eighth place finish in the league and their defeat in the FAI Cup final to St. Patrick's Athletic, mean that Hutton has few, if any funds to work with.

Whilst Derry City's League of Ireland rivals have already strengthened their squads significantly, City have added just two new players in Cillian Morrison and goalkeeper Shaun Patton. On top of that, the club have also lost their captain and long-serving midfielder Barry Molloy, who this week agreed to join Crusaders.

Molloy dismissed a new contract offer from the Candy Stripes due to 'seriously reduced terms' and while the club stalled on a second offer, Stephen Baxter made his move for a player that has been at the Brandywell since 2005.

For the club to lose both Molloy and Patterson would be unthinkable to the club's loyal supporters, especially if Derry hope to be competitive next season.

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Patterson, who has been an unequivocal success at the club since joining three seasons ago, scoring over 60 goals in that time, has already been linked with a return to Linfield, whom he left to sign for Derry in 2012.

Patterson recently made his concerns about his future public, admitting he had heard nothing from the club since the final day of the season.

"Nothing has been cleared up," he said. "There are rumours going about that the club have to get rid of people to help with finances. I was told I would get a phone call a couple of weeks ago to clear it up but I haven't had it yet. Obviously, it's a massive concern for me because I want to know where I'm going to be playing next year if I'm not wanted at Derry," he added.

"I'm a big boy, I'm not going to cry about it. If the club needs to clear its finances the way it has been put to me, then obviously I'm not going to be there."

Sligo Rovers and newly promoted Galway United have already shown an interest in McEleney, who spent most of last season as second choice behind centre halves Ryan McBride and Aaron Barry.

"While it's disappointing for both Rory and Shane, we have to look at the bigger picture which must be a sustainable club working within its means," said Hutton.

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