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Predicting The Destinations Of Six Notable Irish Free Agents

Predicting The Destinations Of Six Notable Irish Free Agents
Gary Connaughton
By Gary Connaughton
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The 2022/23 domestic season in England is nearing its end, with only a handful of Premier League and EFL play-off fixtures still to be played.

As a result, a number of Irish players will now be considering their future at club level. Some will move on in exchange for transfer fees, while others will now have a decision to make with their contracts at their current sides set to expire next month.

We have picked out six big name Irish players who will be free agents this summer and predicted what club they may sign for.

Predicting the futures of 5 Irish free agents

Ryan Manning (Swansea City)

Ryan Manning had a sensational season at Swansea City, ending the campaign as the third best player in the division according to WhoScored.

It has already been confirmed that he will leave the club in the weeks ahead and he is certain to have quite a few interested suitors. West Ham have been linked with the Galway native in the past, while Leeds United have also been mentioned as a possible destination in recent days.

A move to Leeds seems most likely at this point, especially as they edge closer to relegation.

Prediction: Leeds United



Matt Doherty (Atletico Madrid)

While it was an exciting move at the time, it's fair to say that Matt Doherty's transfer to Atletico Madrid has been a bit of a disaster. He has played a grant total of 16 minutes across two substitute appearances in La Liga since moving to the Spanish capital.

He will leave Atletico this summer when his short-term deal expires, with a return to English football the most likely outcome. The likes of Burnley, Sheffield United, and Wolves have all been credited with an interest in signing him.


Considering how his Spanish experiment has gone, you get the sense that he may well favour more familiar surroundings for his next move. With Jorge Mendes acting as his agent, you'd imagine a return to Molineux could be on the cards.

Prediction: Wolves

Chiedozie Ogbene (Rotherham United)

Chiedozie Ogbene has made his ambitions to move on from Rotherham United fairly obvious over the last year or so, although the club resister any offers for his services as they attempted to secure their status as a Championship club.


The winger will now move on this summer. Swansea City have long been admirers of his, although their financial situation and promotion prospects next season means that more attractive options could be available.

There has been some European interest in Ogbene, with Fenerbache and Club Brugge both linked.

Could Southampton be an option? Russell Martin, the Swansea boss, is a known admirer of the player and is set to take the top job at St Mary's as they get set for a return to the Championship next season.


It's a move that would make sense for all parties.


Prediction: Southampton



Shane Duffy (Fulham)

Shane Duffy is quickly becoming a forgotten man at both club and international level. The Derry native has had an incredibly difficult period in his career over the last few years, struggling at Brighton, Celtic, and Fulham.

His loan move to Fulham was made permanent in January, although this was only done to allow the club to bring in another player on loan. His short-term deal expires next month, with the centre back playing a grand total of 15 minutes in the Premier League this season.

He will leave Craven Cottage this summer, although it is difficult to predict where he will end up next. A move to the Championship seems most likely, or perhaps one of the recently promoted clubs will take him on.


The likes of Sunderland, Blackburn Rovers, Watford, or Millwall could be a good fit. We're guessing blind here, but Watford could make some sense.

Prediction: Watford

Robbie Brady (Preston North End)

It was great to see Robbie Brady make a return to form this season. Following on from his injury struggles in recent seasons, he would make an impressive 34 appearances for the club in the Championship.

His one-year deal will expire this summer, although he could well remain at Deepdale. It is a move he should consider, especially when you think of how his other moves have gone in recent seasons.

Preston have already given him an offer of a new deal and you would expect Brady to take it.

Prediction: Preston North End


James McClean (Wigan Athletic)

James McClean has really affinity with Wigan and you would imagine that their return to League One would not deter him from returning to the club for another season. However, their financial situation means that this would be a difficult prospect.

Could a return to Derry City be on the cards?

McClean has long hinted that he would like to finish his career with his boyhood club and the timing could be ideal. Derry currently sit top of the league and are in contention to win the Premier Division for the first time since 1997.

A return for their local hero midway through the campaign would give them quite a boost.

Prediction: Derry City

SEE ALSO: "It's Not Bad!" - Evan Ferguson Happy To Seal European Football With Brighton Brace

Evan Ferguson Brighton brace


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