CORK City Football Club have officially confirmed that Cathal Heffernan will join AC Milan after the Italian side exercised their option to sign him permanently following his loan spell.
Heffernan joined Milan from City at the beginning of February with the Serie A Champions then having the option of making the transfer permanent when the deal expired this summer.
The Echo understands that City received a small five-figure sum as part of the loan fee, with the seven-time European champions required to pay another five-figure fee if they were to make it a permanent transfer with lucrative sell-on clauses also part of the deal.
Heffernan made his first team debut for City in the final game of the 2021 season and prior to that, he played at Under 15, 17, and 19 level for the club after joining from Ringmahon Rangers in 2019.
Cork City confirmed the talent young centre-back was joining the Italian team on Monday.
Heffernan was at Turner’s Cross for the Jerry Harris Testimonial on Sunday and he spoke to Rebel Army TV about representing AC Milan.
“To be honest I don’t actually know the exact date (for a return to Milan) yet but we just got sent a pre-pre-season programme there so I will probably do that for the next few weeks.”
Commenting on the news, Cork City’s Head of Academy, Liam Kearney told the club’s official website: “Cathal has clearly done well whilst on loan and is now getting the opportunity to sign permanently.
“We are very pleased for him and we wish him the very best of luck in his future career.”
Cork City Chairman Declan Carey added: “This is an exciting move for Cathal, as he embarks on the next stage of his career.
“Seeing another young player move on from our academy to a club of the stature of AC Milan, underlines the great work being done by Liam Kearney and his team in our academy, as well as the great work being done by schoolboys clubs, such as Ringmahon Rangers.
“We would like to wish Cathal the very best of luck for the future, and we will all be watching his progress.”