Shrewsbury Linked With Move For Highly Rated Defender

Shrewsbury Town have expressed an interest in Carlisle United centre-back Morgan Feeney, according to the Shropshire Star.

Feeney was an integral part of the Carlisle side who won promotion to League One, but did suffer a season ending injury in April which would keep him on the sidelines for the play-offs. The Cumbrians would achieve promotion to League One after beating Stockport County on penalties and Feeney, as club captain, was one of the first players to lift the trophy.

The defender is however now linked with a move away from Brunton Park this summer. Blues manager Paul Simpson has offered the defender a new deal to stay at the club but no terms have been agreed yet. Feeney has got stronger and stronger each season at Carlisle, and was an anchor at the back under Simpson, he will no doubt have plenty of clubs chasing him if he is to become a free agent this summer.

Shrewsbury have shown an advanced interest in the 24-year-old, in what would be a huge signing for the club. New head coach Matt Taylor will be looking to bring some high profile names to the New Meadow in order to be competitive in League One next season and the addition of Feeney would really bolster the Shrews’ defence. Salop are not the only team interested in the Englishman, with multiple reports linking the defender to a move with Hibernian, where he would link up with former manager Lee Johnson.

Who is Morgan Feeney?

Coming through the Everton academy, the centre-half would make two appearances for the Toffees first team as well as a large number of appearances for their under-18s and under-21s. The defender would then move onto Sunderland in the 2020 summer transfer window but would struggle to get near the first team, and just six months later would join Carlisle on a free transfer. Feeney would make 76 appearances for the Cumbrians, as well as captaining the side to promotion to League One. With his future at Carlisle looking uncertain, it is highly likely that the 24-year-old will be moving on from Brunton Park this summer and there are plenty of clubs after his signature.

What’s been said?

On Tuesday, Carlisle held their annual fan forum where journalist Jon Colman of the News & Star reported some quotes from manager Paul Simpson regarding Feeney’s situation:

“He’s told me he believes there’s interest from other teams that he wanted to explore.”

“We’ve been talking to Morgan since last summer. We had a year’s option on Morgs in his contract. He was asking for too much that I was prepared to pay last year as a League Two side.

“He then said he wanted to explore and see if he could get options in League One – which again I respect.

“We then gave him an option of League One with a really, really generous contract offer. He’s decided to see what else there is.

“I gave him a deadline of seven days, then I gave him another few more days and went back to him and he still didn’t have an offer. I then went away on holiday and came back, so we’re talking probably another ten days after that, and he still didn’t have an offer.”

“We’ve got other things that we’ve got going on in terms of central defenders. I’m exploring those and hopefully we’ll get one and possibly two of those over the line.”

Writer’s view

As a Carlisle fan, I’ve seen firsthand just how good Feeney is and it is slightly disappointing that he wants to leave even after captaining the side to promotion. I still think that Hibernian will be his best suitor and the opportunity of European football will no doubt be attractive, a move to another League One side seems somewhat of a sidestep to me. That being said, Shrewsbury are probably offering the defender more than Simpson did which would make the potential move make more sense. Whoever does sign the 24-year-old this summer will have an excellent centre-half who is a natural leader and could reach a new level coming into his prime years.

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