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Saturday, 19 April 2014

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Bolton forward signs loan deal with Carlisle United

Bolton striker Michael O'Halloran went straight into the Carlisle United squad at MK Dons after joining the Blues on transfer deadline day.

The Scotland Under-21 international was the sole arrival before the 11pm Friday deadline as United boss Greg Abbott was unable to do any further business.

Abbott tied up a month's loan deal for O'Halloran shortly before midday and the 21-year-old later linked up with the United squad at their team hotel ahead of a possible place on the bench at stadiummk this afternoon (kick-off 3pm).

The United manager was eyeing other targets ahead of the late-night cut-off for transfers, but the Cumbrians ended the August transfer window with the young Scot as their final addition.

Abbott is now likely to turn his attention to the emergency loan window, which re-opens in a week's time, with a defender and another creative player still understood to be on his agenda.

There were no outgoings from Brunton Park, but that could again change in the loan window.

Out-of-favour Andy Welsh was understood to be a candidate for a possible loan departure earlier in the day, but there was no move for the 27-year-old in time for the deadline.

The prospect of the left winger leaving Carlisle in order to get first-team football remains a possibility but Welsh remains with United today.

The Blues made no public comment on deadline day other than the short announcement that the 6ft 2in O'Halloran had joined for a month, in a deal believed to be with a view to a longer arrangement.

The Trotters reserve player is initially with United until October 6 and is also eligible for Carlisle's forthcoming cup games.

That means O'Halloran could figure in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy clash with Preston next Tuesday – and also the mouthwatering Capital One Cup tie against Spurs.

It is a second loan move for 21-year-old O'Halloran, who made eight appearances for Sheffield United last season, including their play-off final defeat to Huddersfield, when he came off the bench at Wembley and scored in the Blades' dramatic penalty shoot-out defeat.

The Glaswegian has made only two first team appearances for his parent club but last February signed a contract extension which tied him to the Championship club for another three years.

Sheffield United boss Danny Wilson last season declared himself a big admirer of O'Halloran, claiming he could operate on either wing or down the middle.

Wilson said the forward also had "blistering pace" and his versatility will be key for Abbott, who has been searching for attacking options to cover the absence of Rory Loy and the departure of Francois Zoko.
Strong rumours that former United midfielder Tom Taiwo was set for a move to SPL side Hibernian remained unconfirmed as News & Star Sport went to press.


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