Dundalk could possibly add further to their squad before the start of the season with a number of free agents currently being eyed up by Filippo Giovagnoli’s side.
The club’s sporting director Jim Magilton admitted to The Argus last week that the Lilywhites were still in the market for a playmaker and a goalkeeper.
It is now understood that the search has been narrowed down to two midfielders, one of whom is led to be 28-year-old former English underage international George Thorne who has had spells at West Brom, Portsmouth, Derby County and Watford where he was a team-mate of current Dundalk player Sean Murray.
Thorne has been a free agent since leaving Oxford Utd by mutual consent last August where he made just seven appearances due to a number of injury problems. He is not the sole option, however, as Dundalk look to strengthen in the middle of the field with Central African Republic international Wilfried Zahibo, who has previously played in La Liga for Valencia top of the priority list at present.
The 27-year-old has most recently played in the MLS where he was an MLS All Star for New England Revolution in 2018 and would be a serious coup for Dundalk if they could sign him.
With only Alessio Abibi and Peter Cherrie on the books from a goalkeeping perspective right now, a third option between the sticks is also high on the agenda but following Ryan O’Kane’s emergence in pre-season it is understood the club have parked plans to add another winger.
Dundalk had been hopeful of signing South Korean Han Eui-gwon over the winter but this move was scuppered by work permit issues and while the club were happy to continue fighting for his signature the player ended hopes of a move last week when he signed for K-League 2 side Seoul E-Land.
The club could also hand a trial to Irish U-19 international centre back Tom Gaston. The 20-year-old French born defender came through the ranks at his home town club Bordeaux without making a first-team appearance before spending time at the Portland Timbers in America last year.
He has played four matches at underage level for Ireland under Jim Crawford in recent years with Ireland winning all of them without conceding. Among the high-profile team-mates he would have played with include Adam Idah, Jason Knight, Aaron Connolly and Will Smallbone.
While he was born and grew up in France, he is eligible to play for Ireland through is Dublin-born mother.
Meanwhile, former chairman and current club ambassador Padraig McGowan is set for a new role at Oriel Park as he is set to take over as club secretary.