Cork City will lose their leading scorer Sean Maguire at the end of July after it was confirmed this morning that the striker has agreed a deal to join Preston North End.
The confirmation of a move that was long flagged came after Maguire had scored his first hat-trick for City as they beat reigning champions Dundalk 3-0 at Oriel Park to open up a huge 18-point lead at the top of the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division.
As a League of Ireland export, Maguire follows in the footsteps of Dundalk’s Daryl Horgan and Andy Boyle to the Championship club where the strong Irish contingent also includes Aiden McGeady, Greg Cunningham and Alan Browne.
And Cork could yet lose another player to Deepdale, with reports suggesting that Preston are also interested in signing full-back Kevin O’Connor.
Paying tribute to the Kilkenny man, who has signed a three-year deal with Preston but has not yet played his last game for Cork, manager boss John Caulfield said: “Since coming in to the club Seanie has been fantastic for us. His attitude, work rate, determination and mental toughness has got him to this position and this is a fantastic opportunity for him.
“When he joined us, he was a bit low in confidence but he settled in quickly with this incredible bunch of players and showed he had the resilience and determination to find his form and get his self belief back.
“He has been scoring goals, his work rate is phenomenal and we know he’ll continue to do that in the rest of his time here.
“Whilst you never want to lose a player of Seanie’s quality, we are delighted to have worked with Preston so that he can remain with us until the end of July.
“We’ve had a very strong start to the campaign, the lads have a well-deserved break now to recharge their batteries and get ready for a massive second half of the season and that’s our focus now.”
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