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Transfer deadline day: Oisin Smyth set to complete League One switch as Ronan Hale sparks late battle

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Oisin Smyth has made 98 Premiership appearances for Dungannon Swifts. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press

Oisin Smyth has made 98 Premiership appearances for Dungannon Swifts. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press

PMAKER

Oisin Smyth has made 98 Premiership appearances for Dungannon Swifts. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press

It’s January 31 and that means only one thing for football fans; the transfer window is hours away from closing.

Just like in England and Scotland, Irish League clubs are battling to get some last minute business completed before this evening’s deadline.

The big move out of the Danske Bank Premiership looks to be Dungannon Swifts midfielder Oisin Smyth.

The 21-year-old is set for a switch to League One side Oxford United, where he’ll join up up fellow Irish League exports Mark Sykes and Gavin Whyte.

Glentoran and National League side Wrexham were also understood to be interested in Smyth, although Oxford look to have won the race for his signature.

A talented all-rounder, Smyth also showed huge promise in Gaelic football, scoring a stunning winning point for his school St Ronan’s in the Hogan Cup final at Croke Park back in 2018.

Elsewhere, Linfield are set for a busy day in the market after falling off the Premiership’s top spot on Saturday. Now two points behind bitter rivals Glentoran, the Blues are understood to have entered the race for Larne attacker Ronan Hale

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The 23-year-old scored twice during his side’s stunning European run over the summer and has added four Premiership goals since. Cliftonville have already launched a bid to reunite Hale with his brother Rory at Solitude but now Linfield are attempting to convince Larne to allow him to move to Windsor Park.

Former Northern Ireland U21 defender Ben Hall, currently playing for Scottish League One side Falkirk, is another who could end the day in south Belfast.

As regards Coleraine attacker Jamie Glackin, boss Oran Kearney said on Saturday that Larne’s was the only concrete interest he was aware of, batting away talk of Derry City and Glentoran also chasing the former Dungannon Swifts star.

As things stand, the Bannsiders expect Glackin to remain at the Showgrounds, with only a very significant offer expected to convince them otherwise. One attacker that has left Coleraine is Ian Parkhill, who has joined Institute on loan.


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