Northern Ireland international Kyle Lafferty was once a target for Leeds United, who unsuccessfully pursued him through the January 2016 transfer window. Now the Belfast Telegraph are saying he’s set for a foreign move.
This is not just any run-of-the-mill foreign transfer to the usually thought of places. The Belfast Telegraph are saying that Enniskillen-born Lafferty is a target for Azerbaijani champions Qarabeg.
Before a loan move to Birmingham City from Norwich in March 2016, Leeds were very interested in signing the Northern Ireland international striker with Lafferty himself admitting that he came close to signing for the Whites. Speaking to the Birmingham Mail, Lafferty said at the time: “There was a time I thought I was going to be a Leeds player – it was that close. Unfortunately the two teams couldn’t come to terms.”
During the January transfer window, things were proving difficult for the Whites as they attempted to bring the Northern Ireland frontman in to Elland Road, with head coach at the time Steve Evans saying the landing of Lafferty was “proving very difficult.”
However, despite Leeds’ best efforts it wasn’t to be a successful chase for the 59-cap, 20-goal international, Leeds stepping back from the dealings. This is something that Evans later defended, saying: “On deadline day it (a deal for Lafferty) was as close as you could be. We just didn’t get it over the line…I wanted to sign Kyle, everyone knows that, but from a club point of view it was the right thing not to do that deal.”
After returning on loan from Birmingham, Lafferty stayed at Norwich for the duration of the 2016/17 season. During Norwich’s campaign, Lafferty made just 12 appearances (112 minutes), scoring the one goal in a 3-2 Carrow Road loss after coming on as a late substitute.
He didn’t feature in the last 10 match day squads for Norwich, and it was no surprise when he was let fly by the Canaries and allowed to go his own way as a free agent.
Suitors Qarabag have won their domestic league for the last four consecutive seasons at the Belfast Telegraph say that they will enter the Champions League at the second qualifying stage, but with a mindset of hitting the group stages.
To achieve this goal, Qarabag have identified players to help them do this, and have compiled a list. According to the Belfast Telegraph, “Lafferty is on that list.”