Coleraine’s Jamie Glackin is set to become the latest big Irish League star involved in a battle between clubs for his signature and this one could last until the summer with Larne and Glentoran keen to sign him — and the Bannsiders determined to keep him.
Playmaker Glackin is viewed as one of Coleraine’s most important players and as such manager Oran Kearney wants the 26-year-old to stay at the Showgrounds, though as this transfer window has already shown every player at a part-time team seems to have his price.
Coleraine sources have told Sunday Life Sport that they expect to hold on to Glackin for the remainder of the campaign though are aware of interest from elsewhere, pointing out that if an offer is put on the table in the current market it would take a fee of around £100,000 or perhaps even north of that to prise him away.
Glackin has 18 months left on his contract and is admired at Inver Park and The Oval for his ability to carry the ball and make things happen in the opposition box.
Over the past year, there have been a host of transfer dogfights with Glentoran winning races to sign Conor McMenamin and Shay McCartan highlights for them, Linfield beating off competition to land Joel Cooper on loan last season and Chris Shields last summer and, most recently, Larne triumphing in the tussle to snap up striker Lee Bonis from Portadown.
The financial might in the Irish League lies with the Blues, Glens and Larne and other clubs simply can’t match it, though Glackin will appreciate that Coleraine resurrected his career after a tough time at Crusaders and he has previously said he relishes playing under Kearney.
In turn, he has performed well for the Showgrounds outfit.
Although out of the title race after a poor run of League results, the Bannsiders will feel he can be a key player in the remainder of the season in which they have Europe, Irish Cup and League Cup glory to play for, hence that desire to keep him until at least this summer.
Larne, who suffered a damaging 1-0 defeat at home to Dungannon Swifts yesterday, have also been linked with a move for Ballymena’s Leroy Millar while, along with all the other big hitters in the top flight, would be extremely keen to snap up 20-year-old Stangmore Park sensation Darragh McBrien.
It’s no surprise that Linfield, Glentoran, Crusaders and Cliftonville all like the look of winger McBrien but he has flourished under the management of Dean Shiels and the Tyrone outfit intend to keep him, believing that he has the ability to make his next move across the water rather than to another club in the Irish League.