Ipswich Town’s second-year Academy keeper Conor O’Donnell was being eyed by Premier League trio Stoke, Blackburn and Bolton, according to some newspapers in England last week.
Irish U17 international O’Donnell joined the East Anglia Championship team from his local club Buncrana Hearts in the summer of 2010.
A regular for Town’s U18s this season, the 18-year-old never made the first-team squad.
Ipswich Academy manager Sammy Morgan spoke of the difficulty of letting the O’Donnell and some other players go today.
“It’s the hardest part of the job for Russell [Osman, U18 coach] and I. We have worked with the boys for two years, longer in many cases, and it’s hard to sit down with them and tell them we have to let them go – but decisions have to be made,” he said.
“We will circulate the names of the others and try and help them get fixed up with a club. Just because we have not given them a contract, it doesn’t mean they won’t stay in the game. There are plenty of examples of players being released who have gone on to have good careers in football.”
Conor had been signed by former Ipswich manager Roy Keane.