Northern Ireland transfers: Burton turn down offer for Liam Boyce as Hearts join race to sign Matty Kennedy
Northern Ireland striker Liam Boyce could be on the move this month with Burton Albion already rejecting one bid from an unnamed suitor.
The 28-year-old's contract expires at the end of the season and his boss Nigel Clough has admitted that the club may be forced to cash in this month rather than lose a key man for free.
Sunderland were rumoured to be interested although, after signing Boyce's international team-mate Kyle Lafferty, manager Phil Parkinson indicated he is now happy with his strength in depth up front.
Regardless, the Black Cats were not Boyce's only hope of a move this month, with Hearts the other club linked, and Clough has already been forced to fend off one offer that didn't match the club's valuation.
“It’s the same with everybody here that if a club comes in with the right offer then we look at it," he said. "That hasn’t changed in 20 years. We have had a bit of interest generally and one bid we have rejected. That’s as far it has gone so far.”
Clough was speaking after Saturday's 1-0 win over Fleetwood Town, as Boyce came off the bench to assist Ryan Edwards' winner.
Coach Andy Garner had earlier admitted that a minor injury played a part in Boyce dropping out of the starting line-up but also said the club would this week address the uncertainty over his future.
Elsewhere, Hearts have joined a Scottish tug-of-war over St Johnstone and Northern Ireland winger Matty Kennedy.
Aberdeen are closing in on agreeing a summer switch with the 25-year-old who is out of contract at the end of the season but the Edinburgh club have now entered the fray.
The Jambos are hoping an immediate move could provide a welcome boost to their survival bid but Saints boss Tommy Wright has indicated any hopes of a January switch could be fanciful.
"Aberdeen are probably close to agreeing a pre-contract with him. Hearts made contact yesterday and I want him to stay," he said.
"There are three scenarios at the moment. I want him to remain here until the end of the season and I can't see that being a problem. I don't think it's in our interest to let him go now. It's important we stay in the league and it's important that we hold on to our best players.
"We are a well run club, we don't need to sell. The only way that would happen is if everything was 100% what St Johnstone needed."
Already this month, Northern Ireland striker Kyle Lafferty has joined Sunderland while defender Ciaron Brown has moved from Cardiff to Livingston on loan.
Belfast Telegraph Digital