Donnelly shrugs off speculation

Teenage forward refusing to get caught up in transfer storm

Rory Donnelly: Being strongly linked with a move to England

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Highly-rated Cliftonville striker Rory Donnelly is refusing to let speculation linking him with a move to England become a distraction.

The 19-year-old is hot property at the moment, with his return of 14 goals this season not going unnoticed.

Donnelly is now being touted as the next teenage star to make their mark in English football and with the senior Northern Ireland side.

The youngster is flattered to be the subject of such intense speculation, but insists he will not allow himself to get caught up in the transfer storm.

"I'm not concentrating on all that talk," Donnelly told the Belfast Telegraph.

Concentration

"I'm concentrating on my game and helping the team. Whenever the time comes to make a decision on my future, I'll turn my thoughts to it then.

"We have great players here at the club who are teaching me a lot of things so all I can do is keep working hard.

"Chris Scannell, the manager (Tommy Breslin) and the whole team have really helped my game improve.

"With regards to my future, I'll just wait and see what happens."

It is understood that League One outfit Brentford currently lead the chase for Donnelly, with the Bees having already lodged two bids.

Interest

There are, however, a number of sides higher up the Football League ladder also keeping a close eye on the youngster.

Leeds, Birmingham, Burnley and Peterborough would all be happy to take him to the Championship.

Meanwhile, Sunderland, Queens Park Rangers, Everton and Swansea are said to be keen on offering him a Premier League opportunity.

It has even been suggested that Chelsea may be tempted to join the hunt, with the Blues excited by Donnelly's potential.

Should a switch to England fail to materialise, Scottish Premier League sides St Johnstone and Kilmarnock are waiting to pounce, with it looking increasingly likely that a bidding war will break out in January.