Cobblers striker Roy O’Donovan will jet out to Dubai tomorrow to discuss the possibility of transferring to Brunei DPMM FC, who are managed by former Blackburn Rovers boss Steve Kean.
Brunei play in the S.League (Singapore League), which starts its new season in February, and O’Donovan is believed to be in the frame for one of the club’s five overseas player slots.
Former Everton and Arsenal striker Francis Jeffers had been due to sign for Brunei, but it’s been reported that move has falled through due to an injury, and the club have now turned their attentions to O’Donovan.
The full club name is Duli Pengiran Muda Mahkota FC.
“I had a call out of the blue from Roy’s agent, Eamon Collins, who I have known for years and years,” said Cobblers caretaker boss Andy King.
“Roy is going out to Dubai, and it must be a contact that his agent has, and he is going out there to partially have a fitness test.
“My understanding is he is going out tomorrow for five days for this fitness test, but he won’t be working with a ball, it’s not a match thing.
“So my understanding is he is not going out there to play a game, it is just a fitness test, with a bleep test, and a body fat test and what have you, with a view to being offered a contract.
“He will then either take that contract or he won’t.
“I asked the player if he wanted to make that choice, and he said yes because he has been in and out of the team here and his future is not certain.
“And once he said he wanted to take the opportunity, I said fine, go and I’ll speak to the chairman and see if that’s something we want to take.
“If not, as soon as you come back you are back in the pan to be chosen, you are one of my players and will be selected on how you train and play.”
O’Donovan, 28, signed a new two-year Cobblers deal in the summer, but it is understood the club will not stand in his way if he wishes to make the move to Dubai, with Brunei reporting back for their pre-season training on Monday.
“He is going out there on the trust of his agent who has set this thing up, and I will get a phone call,” added King.
“I believe it is by January 8 that they will make a decision, and Roy will either come back and say ‘I like the idea’, or he won’t.
“Some people like the challenge of going and living and playing abroad, but I didn’t, I did it in Holland for three weeks, didn’t like it, and ran home!”
It has been a frustrating season so far for O’Donovan, who after a sluggish start was sidelined for two months in September after undergoing a hernia operation, the injury having been misdiagnosed in the summer.
The Irishman, who has played in all four senior divisions of English football as well as the top flight in Scotland, was signed by then manager Aidy Boothroyd from Coventry City in January last year.
He has made 29 starts and five substitute appearances for the Cobblers, scoring eight goals, with two of them coming in this campaign.
Meanwhile, defender Matt Heath has left the Cobblers upon the expiry of his contract.
Heath arrived at Sixfields in the summer, and made seven appearances for the club, the last of which was at Mansfield Town in September.