Stoke City face competition from Mick McCarthy’s APEOL to sign highly-rated Irishman Jack Byrne, according to a report in Cyprus.
The Cyprus Times claim Stoke, Nottingham Forest and Preston North End are all keen on Byrne, who looks set to leave Shamrock Rovers for pastures new.
However, the same report also says new APEOL manager McCarthy, who handed Byrne his Ireland international debut, is in pole position to sign the 24-year-old.
Byrne was linked with the Potters back in the summer, with City boss Michael O’Neill, a former Shamrock manager, said to be an admirer of the player.
The former Manchester City youngster will have a holiday before deciding on his future and is also said to have options in Belgium.
He has just completed a fabulous season with Shamrock in the League of Ireland Premier League and has even drawn statistical comparisons with Man City playmaker Kevin de Bruyne.
StatsBomb, who track 50,000 players in 70 competitions, have rolled out a new search concept called Doppelgängers: Finding Similar Players.
The StatsBomb website says: “The concept is simple: a player is selected as the subject of the search and the algorithm then produces a list of players with similar statistical profiles.
“The subject could be a well-known player, a potential transfer target.
“Approximating the statistical output of another player doesn’t necessarily suggest similarities in ability, potential or playing style.
“Saying that a certain player matches the statistical output of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, for example, just means they produce a lot of shots, win a lot of aerial duels and are good at retaining possession.
“The results can act as an ideal jumping-off point for a more involved scouting process, providing a list of names to investigate in further detail.”