Jason Knight attracting Premier League interest as other Irish stars may be on the move

Burnley and Newcastle United have continued to monitor Knight’s situation, having initially included the midfielder on their list of targets last season
Jason Knight attracting Premier League interest as other Irish stars may be on the move

ON THE MOVE?: Jason Knight of Ireland may be heading to the Premier League. Picture: INPHO/Tommy Dickson

Jason Knight is attracting interest from Premier League and European clubs as several Irish players face uncertain futures in this transfer window.

With deals allowed up to August 31, Stephen Kenny may find his preparations disrupted for the triple-header of World Cup qualifiers, starting away to Portugal on September 1.

At least one of the free agents, James McCarthy, has resolved his status by joining boyhood idols Celtic on a four-year deal. Robbie Brady is mulling over his options.

Knight is currently wearing a medical boot to protect the ankle injury he sustained in pre-season training for Derby County.

That the problem stemmed from a slip by his manager Wayne Rooney, who was filling in due to a shortage of players, highlighted the chaotic state of the Championship club.

They’ve been riddled by financial trouble, primarily through failed takeover bids, are operating under a transfer embargo, and may reluctantly cash in on their 20-year-old Irishman.

Burnley and Newcastle United have continued to monitor Knight’s situation, having initially included the midfielder on their list of targets last season. In recent weeks, interest from further afield than the UK has been registered.

He has made 80 club appearances, won eight full caps and is contracted until 2023.

Should Knight be offloaded, he will want to join a suitor where regular game-time is a realistic prospect.

He needs only to observe the difficulty his international teammate Jayson Molumby is enduring to break in at Brighton and Hove Albion to apply caution.

Whether Shane Duffy is still at the Seagulls by the end of the month will be influenced by how Graham Potter decides to address the €50m sale of Ben White to Arsenal.

Duffy, who captained Ireland in Kenny’s first eight matches in charge, has featured in pre-season following a disappointing loan spell at Celtic.

“That can happen to anybody,” Potter told The Argus. “Shane has done really well since he came back. We know Shane’s qualities.

“There are no plans at the moment. We have obviously lost Ben and we need to assess everything because the other centre-backs, Lewis (Dunk) and Adam (Webster), have had issues. We have to make good decisions.”

Another one of Kenny’s mainstays, John Egan, could be moving upwards.

Sheffield United have slipped out of the Premier League but the Cork native may be making a swift return as admirers eye up a dependable centre-back. Egan last year extended his contract with the Blades until 2024, yet a season-loan move, with a purchase option, to a top-flight might transpire to be the compromise.

Centre-back will be the most competitive area for places in the Ireland side, as Burnley’s €17m recruit from Stoke City, Nathan Collins, is certain to earn a senior call-up once he starts figuring in the Premier League season which kicks off on Saturday week.

Of the forward options, James Collins will start the campaign as one of Mick McCarthy’s main strikers at new club Cardiff City, while Troy Parrott requires games and goals on loan at League One outfit MK Dons to push his cause.

Daniel Farke wants Adam Idah to stick around for Norwich City’s Premier League return but Southampton’s Michael Obafemi is likely to drop down to the Championship, with favourites Blackburn Rovers haggling over a transfer fee.

More in this section

IE_180_logo
Price info

Subscribe to unlock unlimited digital access.
Cancel anytime.

Terms and conditions apply

Sport
Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up
IE_logo_newsletters

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox