Aiden McGeady got “cold feet” about joining Wigan at the last minute, the Irish Examiner understands.
In what was a generally quiet deadline day for Irish players, Wolves also turned down a loan bid from Celtic for Kevin Doyle and a £350,000 offer from Nottingham Forest for Stephen Ward.
It was in Wigan, however, that any prospective big Irish deal came closest to being completed. Sources close to the negotiations say that, although all the main elements had been agreed early on for an anticipated £5m move from Spartak Moscow, McGeady’s representatives later withdrew.
It would have greatly livened up what was a rather flat day from an Irish perspective. It says a lot that the only interesting aspects of the six confirmed deals were the facts two of them involved internationals who haven’t appeared for their country since 2004 and another two used to play for Cork City and Cobh Ramblers, respectively.
Many expected higher levels than Northampton Town for Roy O’Donovan when he signed for Sunderland back in 2007, of course, but it was the League Two side who the attacker joined from Coventry City yesterday. He will remain there until the end of the season.
Elsewhere, former Ramblers midfielder Darren Murphy joined Macclesfield Town as a free agent while Cian Bolger went from Leicester City to Bolton. West Ham goalkeeper Stephen Henderson has also gone on loan to Ipswich Town.
At the other ends of their careers, Rory Delap has agreed a similar temporary deal with Barnsley from Stoke City until May while Jon Macken has signed for Stockport County from Northwich Victoria.
The current internationals in Doyle and Ward, however, had to stay put. The fact that they were two of only a handful of Irish players who could have done with freshening up their careers was perhaps the reason for such a sedate day. Because, when you properly consider it, the majority of Giovanni Trapattoni’s are generally playing football at what many perceive to be their level.
The only exceptions other than Doyle and Ward are perhaps Kieren Westwood, who could do with regular football, and James McCarthy — who may benefit from a higher level.
It is understood that Alan Pardew had been considering a bid to bring West Brom’s Shane Long to Newcastle earlier in the month.
It is open to question whether that would actually have been a step-up for Long, though, given the current structures and statuses of the clubs
Similar questions, meanwhile, could have been asked about McGeady’s now collapsed transfer to the DW Stadium. Although it would have involved a move away from the regular continental football he enjoys with Spartak, working with a manager as open as Roberto Martinez at Wigan may well have proved beneficial for a player whose primary qualities are so attacking.
McGeady currently earns £70,000 a week at Spartak Moscow with just 13% income tax, but was initially prepared to take a pay cut. One source involved, however, said that the player got “cold feet”.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved
More in this section