Cliftonville last night made a bid to sign Ronan Hale from title rivals Larne, Sunday Life Sport can reveal.
Last week, Larne boss Tiernan Lynch issued a hands-off warning about his 22-year-old striker, but Paddy McLaughlin has returned to test the Inver Park side’s resolve.
The Reds beat Larne 1-0 on Friday night when Ryan Curran scored the only goal of the game, maintaining an unlikely tilt at the title.
Cliftonville are five points behind Danske Bank Premiership leaders Linfield and McLaughlin is determined to boost his squad before the transfer window closes this week.
Reds officials told their Larne counterparts after the game on Friday that a bid would be imminent and made an official offer last night. The fee is undisclosed but thought to be less than half what Larne paid Portadown for Lee Bonis earlier this month, and a response from Larne is not anticipated until tomorrow.
Hale began life at Birmingham City, then moved to Crusaders and St Patrick’s Athletic before signing for Lynch in August 2020.
Hale’s older brother Rory is currently at Cliftonville, having moved from North Belfast neighbours Crusaders a year ago.
Meanwhile, Linfield and Glentoran seem to have accepted defeat in their pursuit of Dungannon Swifts duo Darragh McBrien and Oisin Smyth, at least in the current window.
The Blues made a bid for McBrien last week but were knocked back by the Swifts, while the Glens feel Smyth will not be leaving Stangmore Park this month.
The East Belfast side did make an unsuccessful bid last year, but believe Smyth does not want to tie himself down to a domestic club in the hope of securing a move to England in the summer.
Windsor Park sources this week poured cold water on the prospect of returning with an improved offer for McBrien this month, but did not rule out another move in the future.