Michael McGovern: Hamilton keeper attracts Premier League interest

By Kenny CrawfordBBC Sport Scotland
Michael McGovern playing for Northern Ireland against Germany
Michael McGovern was Northern Ireland's outstanding player against Germany

Northern Ireland goalkeeper Michael McGovern's agent says Premier League clubs in England have expressed interest in the 31-year-old.

Hamilton Academical's McGovern, soon to be out of contract, impressed in the 1-0 loss to Germany at Euro 2016.

"He's a very modest and humble lad, we're delighted he's been able to perform to this level on this stage," Andrew Evans told BBC Scotland.

"The phones have been a little bit busier over the last 12 hours."

McGovern will decide his future when his contract at New Douglas Park expires at the end of June.

Evans added that English Championship and Scottish Premiership clubs, as well as teams from other leagues in Europe, also have an interest.

"On a domestic, Anglo-Scottish level it doesn't necessarily change too much," said Evans. "It reinforces certain clubs' belief in Michael as a good quality goalkeeper.

"But it has opened opportunities on a European level. It has opened the door to a number of clubs in Europe that without this exposure of Euro 2016 may not have come to the fore.

"His performances in the whole tournament have been excellent. Last night was a barrage of attacks against the Northern Ireland goal and one in which he was able to showcase his ability with some magnificent saves."

Enniskillen-born McGovern started his senior career with Celtic and, after loan spells with Stranraer and St Johnstone, joined Dundee United.

However, it was not until he moved to Ross County in 2009 that he became a first-team regular. McGovern subsequently moved to Falkirk and then Hamilton.

Staying put not off the table

The option of him staying at New Douglas Park has not been ruled out.

"Michael has really enjoyed his time there and he has a good relationship with the management and ownership at the club," said Evans. "So I wouldn't say that's out of consideration at all."

Hamilton chairman Les Gray is confident his club can match any offers from Scottish Premiership rivals.

"We'll be trying as hard as we can to keep him," Gray told BBC Scotland.

Interview: Les Gray

"If there isn't a move for Michael that is attractive for him to move away [from Scotland], then I think Hamilton Accies could be pushing the boat out as far as we can to match what anyone in Scotland could offer.

"We have a great relationship with Michael and we'll be the first people he speaks to if he decides to move on because he's an honourable guy.

"I've watched all of Michael's games and I was delighted for him. His performance was fantastic - everyone was talking about him and rightly so.

"It's tinged with a wee bit of disappointment that he'll probably get his big move on the back of it, but that's what Hamilton Accies are all about - it's a platform for players to do well and progress into the next stage."

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