Darren Murray: Striker still in Portadown exit talks

Darren Murray on duty for Portadown.
Darren Murray on duty for Portadown.

Darren Murray’s future remains unresolved but the striker sits on the Portadown books as a player in name only.

A decision has been made by Ports boss Matthew Tipton to cut short the forward’s second spell at Shamrock Park after only six months back in club colours.

Although a deal between Portadown and a Danske Bank Premiership club had been agreed, Murray is free to negotiate his own terms and it is understood talks remain ongoing with a number of interested parties.

Portadown must finalise the paperwork on any departure but Tipton has confirmed Murray no longer remains part of club plans.

“He is still under contract technically but we expect to sign off on a move once Darren agrees terms, however, he will not play for Portadown again and it is just a case of waiting to see.

“Darren can negotiate with clubs and we are confident under the circumstances that a move will get wrapped up.

“He is not expected to report for training or on matchdays.”

On Friday, Tipton released a statement regarding Murray: “Darren has been unable to commit fully to the demands that we ask of all of our players. It is vital for the players to buy into our work ethics on and off the field for us to build a platform that enables us to move forward.”

Murray, who originally left Portadown by forcing a move to Cliftonville with a transfer request, was unavailable for comment.

Although Tipton will have the option of utilising Murray’s wages in a January window, the Ports boss is turning his focus to internal resources.

“Callum Ferris becomes available for the firsts from January 1 and I view him as a more than adequate replacement,” said Tipton. “He was in line for a move into professional football before injury, has been scoring goals for our under 18s and training with the firsts, so we are very excited.”