ROTHERHAM United are eyeing up a move for Torquay United’s classy midfielder Eunan O’Kane.
The Star understands the talented County Londonderry-born player, who made the 2012 League Two team of the year, is on the Millers radar.
Millers manager Steve Evans is searching the transfer market for a midfield playmaker as he continues to rebuild his squad and O’Kane would fit the bill. Sources in Devon say Evans tried to sign the 21-year-old earlier this year when he was in charge of Crawley Town.
But O’Kane is contracted to Torquay until 2014 and the League Two outfit are unlikely to allow him to leave on the cheap. It is believed Rotherham would have to at least match their club record transfer fee of £150,000 to stand any chance of capturing O’Kane.
The Gulls, who lost to Cheltenham in the semi finals of the play-offs, are keen to keep a hold of O’Kane but the Irishman has hinted his future lies away from Plainmoor. O’Kane, schooled at Everton, has recently said he wants to play at a higher level than the basement division of the Football League.
Rotherham may have to beat off stiff competition from Swindon Town to land O’Kane. Speculation is growing the Robins are interested in O’Kane’s signature and will table an official offer shortly.
Torquay chief Martin Ling, who has mentored O’Kane’s development this season, has recently stated: “I’m sure Eunan is one of many of our players who have caught the eye this season.”
O’Kane, the ex-Coleraine star, made his Republic of Ireland Under-21 debut in a friendly with Denmark on Monday, having switched from Northern Ireland to the Republic last year. He played at every youth level for Northern Ireland.
The Republic take on Italy in a European Championship qualifier on June 4 in Sligo and O’Kane is aiming to cement a regular place in Noel King’s team.
“Hopefully I can go there at the beginning of June and impress and be in future squads,” he said.