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Championship clubs chase Northern Ireland duo McAuley and Boyce

 

By Steven Beacom ·

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Gareth McAuley and Liam Boyce are attracting interest from the Championship.

Northern Ireland defender Gareth McAuley has emerged as a target for the Championship's bottom club Ipswich Town.

McAuley is not the only wanted man in Michael O'Neill's squad for next month's home matches with Bosnia & Herzegovina and Israel with Bolton Wanderers keen to sign Liam Boyce.

Such is Burton Albion's desire to keep hold of Boyce at the moment, however, Bolton may have to wait until January to snap up the former Cliftonville hero.

The window for permanent transfers is already closed in England and the loan window slams shut today.

Having started the Championship superbly, Bolton wanted to bring Boyce in on loan to maintain their push for promotion and sign him on a long-term deal during the next transfer window.

As the Belfast Telegraph revealed earlier this month, Burton, relegated from League One last season, value Boyce at £1m-plus and don't want to lose him as he is the ace in their pack and adored by the fans.

It is understood that last night no agreement had been reached by Bolton and Burton and unless the deal is resurrected today, any prospective move will have to wait until 2019.

McAuley (38) does not have a club at present having left West Brom in the summer and as a free agent transfer windows mean nothing to him.

There has been interest from Scotland in the shape of Rangers, Hearts and Aberdeen and the suggestion from east Anglia is that Ipswich are chasing him too.

McAuley was a popular player for the Portman Road outfit between 2008 and 2011. Given their poor start, they could do with a player of his experience and quality, though as McAuley recently told this newspaper, he won't make any rash decisions.

"The last thing I want to do is sign and go somewhere and think a few months down the line that this is wrong. I have to do what's right for me and my family," he said.

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Gareth McAuley and Liam Boyce are attracting interest from the Championship.
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Wanted man: Gareth McAuley is interesting old club Ipswich
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Upward curve: Liam Boyce