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Cliftonville insist Ruaidhri Donnelly will commit future despite rumoured Larne interest

Cliftonville's Ruaidhri Donnelly
Cliftonville's Ruaidhri Donnelly

By Stephen Looney

Cliftonville are hoping striker Ruaidhri Donnelly will sign a new deal at Solitude next week despite being linked with a move to Larne.

The 27-year-old is out of contract at the end of the season after signing a three-year deal with the Reds on his return from England in 2017.

Donnelly had left Solitude for Swansea City eight years ago in a deal thought to be worth almost a quarter of a million pounds to the north Belfast club.

He has scored six goals in 18 Premiership appearances this season as part of a three-pronged attack with Joe Gormley and Ryan Curran.

It is understood ambitious Larne would have been keen to add the Ardoyne man to their roster for the 2020/21 campaign, when he could have linked up with close friend Tomas Cosgrove again.

Solitude bosses were aware of the speculation and Paddy McLaughlin met the player on Thursday night to open negotiations on a new deal at Solitude.

Club sources insist their player declared he did not want to join another club and made it clear he wanted to remain at Solitude next season.

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The rumour mill had it that Donnelly was unhappy about the departure of younger brother Jay from Solitude in April following a prison sentence for distributing an indecent image.

Again, club sources insist their player had no issues and would be happy to put pen to paper on a new deal, which is expected to be tabled next week.

Meanwhile, Jay Donnelly is mulling over his next move with at least one Championship club interested in signing the talented forward player. This interest may flush out an offer from a Premiership club in the coming weeks with the transfer window set to open in just over a fortnight.

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