Dundalk head coach Vinny Perth has given Stephen Folan the green light to leave Oriel Park.

The Galway-born defender hasn’t featured in a league game for the Lilywhites since May 2018 and hasn’t seen any competitive action so far this year, partially due to an injury that has now cleared up.

Folan, who signed from Galway Utd at the end of the 2017 campaign, is set to be pushed further down the pecking order by the arrival of Andy Boyle.

That has opened the door for him to leave with Larne, Derry City and Sligo Rovers among a number of clubs to have expressed an interest in the former Newcastle Utd trainee.

Asked about Folan on Monday, Perth said: “To be fair there’s a huge amount of interest in Stephen.

“The window obviously doesn’t open until next week.

“It’s really up to him where he goes at this stage. I think he needs first-team football and I hope he gets it. He’s someone we really respect but for him and his career personally I think he needs to be playing football so I think it’s only a matter of time before he picks one of the many clubs that are interested in him.”

Folan was one of a number of players, including Gary Rogers, Dean Jarvis, Brian Gartland, Jamie McGrath and Patrick Hoban, who are out of contract at the end of the 2019 season.

Perth said it will be at least the middle of next month before he sits down with any of those players to discuss re-signing for 2020.

“I think we’ll definitely wait and see how the next two to three weeks ago. Not to buy ourselves time but because it’s so busy.

“We’ve three big games this week and then two European games so I think after then we’ll sit down and see what deals can be done.

“One or two may want to leave at the end of the season, which is fine, but we will try and look at it after that window after the second European game.

“There’s not many out of contract but there is certainly some important people there who we’d like to have at the club next year,” said Perth.