Cork City star Brian Lenihan has attracted the attention of Arsenal, Manchester United and Tottenham amongst other clubs, confirms club manager John Caulfield.
The 20-year-old has been a standout star for the Ireland outfit, helping him break into the Republic of Ireland Under-21 set-up with a call up to the senior squad expected in the near future.
Premier League interest
Not only is Lenihan earning recognition on the international stage, but his performances at centre-back have attracted scouts from a number top Premier League clubs. Caulfield confirmed direct representatives from Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham have been to watch him amongst others.
Caulfield told reporters: "A lot of teams have watched him, but it's a business deal and it isn't up to Cork City to name the clubs involved.
"Everyone knows who has watched him; Arsenal have, Hull have, we've realised that Manchester United have watched him, Tottenham, Everton and Villa have watched him.
"They've all had direct club employees to look at him as opposed to some of the championship clubs, who'd have an agent saying he's representing them."
Although both Louis van Gaal and Arsene Wenger appear to be aware of the promising youngster, the rival managers may need to move fast if they want to bag his signature. Caulfield has confirmed that concrete bids have been made and negotiations are continuing.
He said: "The official situation is that we received two bids and both have been rejected. One of the clubs has come back to us and we’re in negotiations with them but there's still quite a bit of work to do.
Without naming the clubs, it is safe to assume that Arsenal, Manchester United and Tottenham are not involved in talks. The lack of reports surrounding the player with regards to a move to a top six Premier League suggests this.
What is likely is that a bottom half Premier League club or a top Championship club are leading the race. Whatever the outcome, Caulfield expects Lenihan to make the move to England in the weeks to follow.
He finished: "Do I think that he’ll be gone across channel in the next couple of weeks? I believe that he will, and we have to make sure that we get the proper deal and Brian does too.
"What we have to try and do is a structured deal that if he plays international football or moves on elsewhere, we get rewarded. That’s probably what you have to look at."
The Daily Mail report that both Crystal Palace and Hull City are leading the race for the defender. Journalist Simon Jones believe that the Eagles and the Tigers are the two outfits to have made bids for the player.
it appears that the big clubs are happy to let one of their smaller rivals take his signature and may continue to watch him develop in the English game. It would be most likely that if Lenihan was to sign for Arsenal or Manchester United, he would be immediately loaned out to gain experience.