Doncaster Rovers target Richard O’Donnell to leave Walsall

Richard O'Donnell is a target for Doncaster Rovers.
Richard O'Donnell is a target for Doncaster Rovers.
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Doncaster Rovers target Richard O’Donnell has announced he is leaving Walsall.

The former Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper has rejected the offer of a new two-year deal with the Saddlers.

Paul Dickov is looking to recruit at least one senior goalkeeper after releasing Stephen Bywater and O’Donnell is on his list of targets.

O’Donnell tweeted yesterday that his decision to quit Walsall was not motivated by money and was based on ‘what is best for me and my family’, which might raise Doncaster’s hopes of persuading the stopper to join them.

The 26-year-old lives in Sheffield and is still close friends with Andy Butler, who he car shared with when the pair played together at Walsall.

Nottingham Forest, Reading and Bradford City have also been credited with an interest in O’Donnell.

O’Donnell said on Twitter: “Just wanted to say thank you to everyone [at Walsall] for the past 2 years.

“It’s been a great 2 years and the club have been brilliant with me from minute one.

“The decision I’ve made is purely based on what I think is best for me and my family.

“Anyone who knows me will know it’s not for financial gains.

“I made the club aware around 10 days ago that I would not be staying.

“Thank you to the fans for the support over the time I’ve been here, it was a great way to finish my time by getting player of the season and helping the club to get to Wembley for the first time. Both of which I’m very proud of.

“It’s been the hardest decision in football I’ve ever had to make but I feel it’s time to move on and take a new challenge.

“Thank you again, I wish the club and the fans the best of luck.”

Dickov has confirmed that O’Donnell is on a shortlist of targets drawn up by him and goalkeeping coach Paul Gerrard - which also includes Bywater, despite his release.

“Richard’s a good keeper. We’ve had him watched a lot and he’s someone we’ve kept an eye on for a long time,” said Dickov.

“But because he’s such a good keeper and he is out of contract there’ll be lots of clubs looking at him like we have over the past season.

“He’s one that’s on our list. Myself and Paul Gerrard have got a list of goalkeepers which we’re prioritising.

“Stephen Bywater is on there. We’re speaking to them all.”