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Torquay United eyeing windfall from Eunan O'Kane move

By Herald Express  |  Posted: January 30, 2014

By DAVID THOMAS

Pic by Dan Mullan Pinnacle

Pic by Dan Mullan Pinnacle

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A BIG-MONEY move to the Premiership for ex-Plainmoor star Eunan O'Kane stands to earn Torquay United a much-needed six-figure windfall.

Midfielder O'Kane, 23, is one of the most-talked about players in the country after establishing himself in AFC Bournemouth's Championship side and earning rave reviews for his performance against Liverpool in the FA Cup last weekend.

The Cherries lost 2-0, but Aston Villa, Norwich City, Swansea City and Fulham are all being linked with O'Kane ahead of tomorrow night's Transfer Window closure.

The Gulls sold O'Kane to Bournemouth for £175,000 18 months ago, but they also negotiated a 15 per cent 'cut' of any profit that the Cherries make on him.

With Plainmoor's finances, especially their cash-flow, tighter than ever after successive home postponements against Northampton Town and then Burton Albion on Tuesday night, every United director is hoping that someone makes a move for the fast-improving O'Kane.

And even if he stays at Dean Court now, the former Everton trainee – United picked him for nothing from Coleraine in his native Ulster – is sure to be a target again in the summer.

One man who played a key role in luring O'Kane from Torquay to Bournemouth was new Gulls boss Chris Hargreaves.

Hargreaves is hoping to push through at least two signings before tomorrow's deadline, and before he takes United to Fratton Park for another key game against relegation rivals Portsmouth on Saturday.

A proposed deal for Luton Town striker Scott Rendell has fallen through.

But ex-Gulls winger Danny Stevens has agreed to sign to the end of the season.

Hargreaves also expects to recruit 20-year-old Millwall striker Aiden O'Brien on a month's loan – he scored three goals in five games on loan at Aldershot recently.

Irish centre-half Eoin Wearen, 21, who spent five years at West Ham before being released last summer, is currently on trial at Plainmoor.

And Hargreaves, who was an interested spectator at Exeter City's 0-0 draw with Oxford United on Tuesday night, has received a boost with the return to fitness of experienced midfielder Ben Harding.

Harding has been out for four months with a foot injury.

United's home game against Northampton has been rearranged for Tuesday, February 11 (7.45pm), giving them three crucial home games – Bury (Feb 8), Northampton and Accrington Stanley (Feb 22) in the space of a fortnight.

Portsmouth and Accrington both boosted their hopes of League Two survival with 1-0 away wins over Wycombe and Bristol Rovers respectively.

But those results helped to drag Wycombe and Rovers further into trouble.

The Mansfield-Bury and Northampton-Rochdale matches were also rained off.

As well as Portsmouth-Torquay, this Saturday's programme includes another 'six-pointer', Bury-v-Wycombe.

Other fixtures involving teams in or flirting with trouble are Northampton-v-Cheltenham, Chesterfield-v-Bristol Rovers, Plymouth-v-Mansfield.

Accrington-v-Morecambe, Fleetwood-v-York and Burton-v-Exeter.

Northampton, where former Torquay manager Alan Knill has joined new boss Chris Wilder as No.2, are poised to sign ex-Gulls striker Alan Connell from Bradford City.

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