Dundalk boss Filippo Giovagnoli has said he will be happy to work with Stefan Colovic if the Serbian fails to secure a move away from the club in the coming weeks.

The Argus exclusively revealed last week that the winger could be on his way out of Oriel Park just one season into a two-year deal due to what sporting director Jim Magilton described as homesickness.

A week on, there has been no further clarity on the 26-year-old’s future and Giovagnoli said it was a case of having wait and see how that particular situation panned out.

The article as it appeared in The Argus on January 12th 2021

“Stefan I think was trying to find something closer to home but he is still our player so we’re going to decide on him during the pre-season,” he said.

“Stefan is a high level, quality player but the player has to be willing to stay and 100% committed because even if you’re good, if you have other problems then you won’t perform.

“We will need to talk with him again and see where he stands now. It’s not easy the world now. It’s really complicated for everyone so let’s see.”

One player who will be back at Oriel Park next season is Brian Gartland, who last week put pen to paper on a new one-year contract at the club.

When it was put to Giovagnoli that the defender brought great leadership to the squad, he said first and foremost Gartland had earned his deal by his performances on the pitch.

“The most important thing that Brian did is perform,” he said.

“Brian was excellent on the pitch. The other things that he has of course helps but I’m a coach who looks first and foremost at what they deliver on the field and Brian was excellent.

“Actually, I don’t remember one bad performance from him. All the times that I played him he was one of the best on the field. For me, he’s an excellent player and I’m delighted that he is staying.”

The Italian said it was regrettable, however, that he was unable to hold onto Dane Massey who last week signed for local rivals Drogheda Utd after not being offered a deal at the club he had made 291 appearances for since 2013.

“This is really unfortunate,” Giovagnoli said of Massey’s departure.

“Dane, for us, was so important and when we arrived he scored the first goal for us. We really liked him as a player and his characteristics but he was unlucky with injuries. You also have to understand the strategy of the club which is looking for young players but the qualities as a person and a player of Dane Massey are not even in judgement.

“I am nobody to say anything about him because he built the story of the club. I was just lucky to have him there but unlucky that I couldn’t use him. I really respect him.

“Probably I didn’t give him at the end the satisfaction of being a part of the final. I couldn’t do it and I suffered so much about that but I had to do what was best for the team in that moment. I wish him the best and I think he’ll do well because he is super motivated and a super nice guy.”