Bradford City: McCartan could return but Payne likely to leave

By Simon Parker

Chief Sports Writer

Bradford City: McCartan could return but Payne likely to leave

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CITY are still mulling over what to do with Shay McCartan.

The Northern Ireland international is currently on a season’s long loan at League Two leaders Lincoln and scored in their New Year’s Day draw with Port Vale.

But there is a recall option in the deal which the Bantams are currently considering.

It is believed they have got until the middle of the month to decide under the terms of the loan but David Hopkin is yet to make up his mind.

A lot could hinge on what happens with City’s own current loan players as speculation continues to mount about Jack Payne’s future. It appears increasingly likely that Huddersfield will be taking him back.

McCartan has made it clear he wants to remain at Sincil Bank after struggling to justify his £250,000 price tag with the Bantams.

The forward, who has four goals for the Imps in their promotion push, said: “I’ve had no contact (from City), I want to stay here.

“I want to be top of the league with Lincoln. That’s as far as I know what’s happening.”

McCartan is only halfway through the three-year deal he signed when he joined from Accrington in 2017.

But he found it hard to make an impact in his first season at Valley Parade, making only 17 starts and scoring four.

Should City look to bring him back, it could force Lincoln’s hand in making a bid to sign him permanently.

Alternatively, McCartan would also offer cover in the squad if Payne heads elsewhere.

Huddersfield are ready to take back the in-form midfielder, whose contract at the Premier League club is up in the summer, with a view to selling him.

Millwall are reported to be mustering a £500,000 bid for the 24-year-old.

They have watched City’s top scorer several times lately and have registered an interest.

Millwall boss Neil Harris has been a long-time admirer of Payne and has looked at signing him in the past.

But the Championship side are likely to face competition from promotion-chasing Luton. Peterborough are also thought to have been keen although boss Steve Evans insists they are not in the race.

Meanwhile, young striker Omari Patrick will be back training with City on Monday after his half-season loan ended with Yeovil.