Middlesbrough lead queue to land Ireland striker Ogbene

Michael Carrick is keen to bring the Corkman to Teeside.
Middlesbrough lead queue to land Ireland striker Ogbene

IN DEMAND: Rotherham United's Chiedozie Ogbene. Picture: Nigel French/PA Wire.

Middlesbrough have emerged as favourites to land Ireland striker Chiedozie Ogbene as the Corkman appears to have played his final game for Rotherham United.

Ogbene’s precarious contract situation – he can leave for free in the summer – has increased the chances of a transfer before Wednesday’s deadline and a raft of fellow Championship clubs are keen.

Swansea City have been long-time admirers of the 24-year-old, one of the clubs believed to have lodged bids and it seemed the exit of his compatriot Michael Obafemi to Burnley opened up a window.

But the Swans have a few options in the mix to bolster their firepower, with an offer already submitted for Luton Town’s Harry Cornick.

Ogbene’s Rotherham teammate Dan Barlaser is already on his way to Michael Carrick’s Boro and a double-swoop is likely as clubs conclude their mid-season business.

Due to this being a FA Cup weekend, The Millers have a free weekend and are next in action on Saturday week against promotion contenders.

Their boss Matt Taylor is anxious for clarity around a number of players out of contract this summer, admitting a fee meeting their valuation could be agreed to trigger Ogbene’s exit.

The Ireland forward was a central part of their promotion from League One but the team are languishing in 20th place of the Championship and badly in need of points to ignite their survival bid.

Meanwhile, Adam O’Reilly has agreed a two-year deal to join Derry City. The Leesider is being allowed to leave Preston North End ahead of his contract expiring in May and had options in England and Scotland as well as the leading League of Ireland clubs.

St Patrick’s Athletic, whom he spent two loan stints at, were eager to make the deal permanent, as were Shamrock Rovers, but the offer from FAI Cup holders Derry proved too tempting.

The midfielder is linking up with the squad at their training base in Spain, where they’re stepping up preparations for the season opener on February 17 – against St Pat’s.

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