JAY Magee looks set to join Glentoran.
The 23 year-old’s move to his boyhood club has long been rumoured and finally looks to be coming to fruition after his contract at Glenavon expired at the end of last season.
Glenavon manager Gary Hamilton says he had made an offer that would have seen Magee become the club’s top paid player and also said he would be deployed primarily as a midfielder in the coming season, but ultimately couldn’t keep Magee for a fifth season at the club.
“I haven’t heard anything officially or personally from Jay yet but my understanding is that he is likely to join Glentoran,” admitted Hamilton.
“He’s a Glentoran fan and he couldn’t turn it down.
“We made him an offer that would have made him the highest paid player at the club but we have to respect his decision and we wish him all the best. Jay was brilliant to work with and he always gave 100 per cent effort.
“We couldn’t offer him a deal that was good enough for him to decide to stay at the club. People have to take money into account at the minute and Jay is also getting the chance to play for his local team. There was nothing we could do.
“I was going to play Jay as a central midfielder this season because when he made a mistake at centre-back, he always seemed to get punished.”
Meanwhile, Hamilton is still working to bring three more new players into his squad as his search for another striker is still on-going after targets Gary Liggett, Chris Scannell and David Rainey all chose to remain with their current clubs.
“I’m speaking to a right-back, a versatile player and I’ve a loan offer in for a striker,” said Hamilton.
“There’s not a lot out there at the minute. We’re looking for the right player. We don’t want to bring just anybody in; we want to get quality.
“We’ve had some trouble with centre forwards. Gary Liggett, Chris Scannell and David Rainey all opted to stay with their clubs. Scannell and Rainey are playing for clubs challenging at the top of the league so it’s hard for us to get them away from those clubs.
“There isn’t much out there but we have identified one player, who we have a loan bid in for so hopefully that will come off.
“If not, we have Burrows, Mitchell, Grant and myself. I’d be happy with that but if I can add someone better or as good as we have, I’ll do that.
“I have a couple of Glentoran players in mind as well but until they are offered to me or a deal can be done, I can’t say anything because it would be disrespectful. I’m talking to managers regarding a few players.”
Another striker that won’t be joining the club is Michael Halliday. Hamilton had told the ‘MAIL’ that he was speaking to his former Glentoran team-mate but in the end, the forward’s wage demands have proved too much for the Lurgan Blues.
“Michael has financial commitments,” said Hamilton.
“I spoke to Adrian Teer but we can’t afford to pay his wages. It takes big money and we don’t have it. Michael has his own commitments and he’s going to stay and fight for his place at Crusaders.”