Ballymena United have offered an update on the transfer speculation surrounding star player Shay McCartan.
It is understood Glentoran are closing in on a deal for the 27-year-old attacker, with reports of a record-breaking £100,000 bid having been tabled by the East Belfast club.
Ballymena said that McCartan was not available to play in Saturday’s friendly against Institute after being “excused”.
They also revealed that one club have met a “fair value” for the player and have been given permission to speak to McCartan.
In a statement, Ballymena said: “It has been well leaked in the papers about Shay, and we’ve always been consistent in doing our business privately and announcing news when it is there to be announced.
“However, to be fair to our supporters we can be honest and say that having rejected many attempts for Shay, who has been aggressively pursued over the summer, he approached us with a desire to speak to another club.
“That club, having eventually met a fair value for the player, have been given permission to speak to him and that’s where it remains.
“No doubt the media will continue to report and speculate but at this moment the facts are that Shay is a Ballymena United player on a two year contract, which is the contract that he asked for, and we very much want him to stay here.
“But there’s a situation to resolve and he will have a decision to make soon, and so he won’t be in our match-day squad today.
“That said, with players unavailable we now have an opportunity for our new signings and youth team graduates to make an impression on the team and push for their place in the season ahead.
“The likes of Spencer Beattie, Tom Mathieson, Craig Farquhar and Jordan McMullan have been involved for the past season and will feature today. We’ll also welcome Lee Chapman and Sam Johnston today and see the return of Chrissy Rodgers and Caolan Loughran.”