SEANIE MAGUIRE is the hottest property in the league but the Cork City striker will not be deflected by all the speculation about his future and the possibility of a move abroad in the summer.
The 22-year-old has eight goals so far for John Caulfield’s table-toppers who enjoy a nine-point lead at the top of the SSE Airtricity League over champions Dundalk and surprise packets Bray Wanderers who come south for a top-of-the-table clash at Turner’s Cross on Friday night (7.45pm).
The Castlecomer man, who dabbled in hurling when a student at Kilkenny CBS, has scored in seven of City’s 10-game winning sequence. One of those blanks was in the 3-0 away win over St Patrick’s Athletic at Inchicore last Friday where his former Sligo Rovers team-mate Gavin Peers did a good man-marking job on him.
Not for the first time, representatives of Preston North End were at the game in Richmond Park in the shape of first team manager Simon Grayson and his advisor Peter Risdale, the former chairman at Leeds United.
The Deepdale cub who swooped for Daryl Horgan and Andy Boyle and already have a strong Cork connection in midfielder Alan Browne have been tracking Maguire for some time but they have also expressed an interest in left-back and Irish U21 man Kevin O’Connor.
Reading, too, are keeping tabs on Maguire with ex-Cork City boss, Pat Dolan one of their representatives.
The Championship side were close to making a bid for him at the end of last season when he was out of contract, but interestingly enough, Maguire ended up going on a week’s trail to Preston after his match-winning goal in the FAI Cup final.
“I haven’t been aware of these clubs watching me and I didn’t know that Simon Grayson was in the ground the other night. Even if you know before a game, you have to treat it like any other match and concentrate on your own club and getting a result.
"We got the three points up at St Pat’s and that is all that matters really,” said Maguire, who was touted by Belgian side, St Truiden after City’s Europa League campaign last summer when they bowed out to Genk.
City’s valuation is in the region of €500,000 to €750,000 and more bids are expected when the transfer window opens again in the summer.
One man fairly fed up with the on-going rumours and speculation is City boss John Caulfield.
“There are three months to go until July. If something happens, it does and if it doesn’t, it doesn’t.
"I can’t do anything about it. I just have to keep everyone focused and make sure we’re ready for a massive game with Bray on Friday night,” Caulfield told reporters at Richmond Park.