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Meathman Linked With £4 Million Championship Move

Meathman Linked With £4 Million Championship Move
By PJ Browne Updated

In the race to be the first Meathman to represent the Irish football team at senior level, there is a clear favourite: Darragh Lenihan.

The 24-year-old was part of Martin O'Neill's squad for last month's friendly against Turkey. Though he did not make his international bow, a cap cannot be too far off.

Recognition of the centre-back's abilities has found its way beyond O'Neill. According to The Sun over the weekend, Lenihan is being eyed up by Derby County.

Hailing from Dunboyne, Lenihan has been with League One leaders Blackburn Rovers since 2012. He has played sparingly this season - that has been mainly due to a metatarsal injury which required surgery last September. Encouragingly, he has made six starts for Tony Mowbray's side in the past two months.

Despite a lack of recent game time, Derby are said to be interested in the player. The fee mentioned is £4 million.

Derby's interest in Lenihan may stem from manager Gary Rowett having worked with the player, briefly, four years ago. When he was manager of Burton Albion, Rowett took Lenihan on loan from Blackburn. Though, he departed a week later to take up the Birmingham City job.

Derby currently sit fifth in the Championship, three points inside the playoff places with a game in hand on their rivals.

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Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

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