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Linfield doing all they can to keep Jimmy Callacher as Glentoran eye up a double move for Blues stars


Linfield are hoping they can convince Jimmy Callacher to stay at Windsor Park.

Linfield are hoping they can convince Jimmy Callacher to stay at Windsor Park.

Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

Linfield are hoping they can convince Jimmy Callacher to stay at Windsor Park.

Linfield have stepped up their efforts to keep inspirational centre-half Jimmy Callacher at the club as the south Belfast side face the prospect of losing three senior defenders at the end of the season.

Sunday Life Sport first reported that the proposed switch from a part-time set-up to a full-time model is causing growing pains among several key players.

Callacher, Mark Haughey and Mark Stafford are all out of contract at Windsor Park in the summer and have made the club aware of the difficulties going full-time would present them with.

All three have day jobs and Stafford has already said he will not be at Windsor Park season, while Haughey and Callacher have yet to come to a decision on their playing futures.

Larne, Glentoran, Crusaders and Ballymena United are all monitoring the situation, with the Glens interested in Haughey and Callacher. The spectre of losing either or both to their traditional rivals has prompted concern within the Linfield hierarchy and negotiations have been going on for months to seek a way to keep their most experienced centre-halves.

The Blues have made improved offers to Callacher but it is understood the 29-year-old still has reservations about managing his own business with a full-time role on the football front.

Moving to full-time clubs Larne and Glentoran would present Callacher with the same dilemma he has at Linfield. Crusaders would offer the player more latitude while, as a part-time club, Ballymena might prove most appealing should he leave Linfield.

The Blues are still hopeful Callacher will be swayed by a very attractive financial package that includes the promise of a testimonial year in 2024.

Meanwhile, Glentoran goalkeeper Dayle Coleing is attracting attention from clubs in Europe and England following impressive displays for Gibraltar in two recent World Cup qualifiers. Despite shipping 10 goals to Norway and the Netherlands, the 24-year-old stopper was hailed after pulling off a string of eye-catching saves.

Sunday Life Sport understands the Glens have had enquiries but insist he is under contract for another two years and will be going nowhere unless an attractive bid is made.

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