Football: Deal to bring Connolly to Balmoor has collapsed

McInally's squad have found form after a shaky start to the campaign. (Photo - Duncan Brown)
McInally's squad have found form after a shaky start to the campaign. (Photo - Duncan Brown)

A deal to bring Dundee United youngster Aidan Connolly to Balmoor on a season-long loan has fallen apart at the last minute.

The Buchanie understands that on Monday manager Jim McInally was on the verge of bringing the former Queen’s Park midfielder north when negotiations broke down.

Peterhead's Balmoor stadium was the scene of a chaotic battle between Clyde and the Blue Toon.

Peterhead's Balmoor stadium was the scene of a chaotic battle between Clyde and the Blue Toon.

As it stands, the 18-year-old will not join up with the League Two side to shore up an ailing Peterhead squad.

The catalyst for the move was a serious injury to David Cox which will see the forward sidelined for as long as three months.

Last week McInally said of Connolly: “I’m sure he can play a big role in the team.

“I know him so well from last year - I think he’s a player that supporters would enjoying.”

The manager had drawn up two team sheet’s for the matches against Annan and Elgin this week with the hope Connolly would be available.

But now the deal, which had been worked on since last Saturday’s draw with Berwick, has collapsed.

Although Connolly’s father Paddy, a friend of McInally and current Alloa Athletic assistant manager, was eager for his son to get game time with the Blue Toon, the Peterhead boss stalled on broaching the subject with Dundee United manager Jackie McNamara.

United’s midweek League Cup defeat to Inverness was blighted by a 20-man brawl in which Nadir Ciftci seized an assistant referee’s throat.

McInally said last week: “With all the nonsense that was going on at Dundee United in the cup, I think this transfer was one of those things that wasn’t important for Jackie do.”

On Monday McInally was just waiting for McNamara’s confirmation of the loan but it is understood that communication broke down within United and the deal looks to be off permanently.

One potential sticking point in the deal had been that as soon as Connolly took to the field in the blue of the Toon, he would have been unable to return to the United senior team this season.

Connolly has already been out on loan to League One side Brechin City where he made one starting appearance and SFA rules prevent any player playing for more than two senior teams in a season.