Larne and Linfield declare interest in Ballymena United striker Jonathan McMurray

Johnny McMurray
McMurray has scored twice this season in 10 league appearances

Championship leaders Larne have joined the race for the signature of Ballymena United's transfer-listed striker Jonathan McMurray.

The Inver Park side have declared their interest in the player just a day after Linfield informed United that they plan to hold talks with the 24-year-old.

The Sky Blues announced last month that the former Cliftonville forward was being made available to other clubs.

McMurray has scored two league goals in what has been an injury-hit campaign.

With the significant financial backing of owner Kenny Bruce, the co-founder of online estate agent Purplebricks, Larne have already overhauled their playing and coaching staff with work on improving their stadium ongoing.

A 14-point lead at the top of the Championship has them well poised for promotion to the top division of Irish League football.

"I can confirm that Larne have approached the club to request to speak to him to explore the possibility of agreeing terms," said Ballymena manager David Jeffrey on Friday.

"It comes as no surprise to us the interest in Jonathan and it is important now that we give him the time and space to figure out what he sees as his future in football."

A day earlier, Jeffrey confirmed that the club had had "received a letter from Linfield advising of their intention to approach Jonathan with a view to negotiating a contract with him".

Injury has restricted the striker to just 10 appearances for the Sky Blues this season.

Ballymena also revealed that Reece Glendinning has fractured his ankle and will be out "for several weeks".

The midfielder suffered the injury in last Saturday's win over Linfield and the fracture was confirmed by a second X-ray.

"It's most disappointing for him as he had awaited his opportunity and when it came he was playing well," Jeffrey said in a statement on the club's Facebook page.

Goalkeeper Ross Glendinning remains out with a shoulder injury, while defender Scot Whiteside will not be included in the squad for Saturday's trip to Warrenpoint Town because of a hamstring strain.