Ballymena Utd captain Leroy Millar in transfer tug-of-war between Larne and hometown club

Inspirational Ballymena United captain Leroy Millar is at the center of a transfer tug-of-war between Larne and his hometown club.

According to Sunday newspaper reports, Millar is said to have signed a pre-contract agreement to join the Inver Reds when his current deal with Ballymena expires in the summer.

But it is understood the 26-year-old midfielder has had a change of heart in recent weeks and is now eager to put pen-to-paper on a new long term contract at the Showgrounds.

Read more:Larne goalkeeper Conor Devlin channels The Smiths as he confirms his Inver Park exit

It is thought the pre-contract, which predates Ballymena’s new contract, would take precedence, but Irish FA officials are set to discuss the matter further this week.

Larne officials believe they are in a strong position, but the East Antrim club runs the risk of pursuing a player who no longer wishes to make the move to Inver Park.

And according to reports, Ballymena may also be in a position where they end up paying a fee for a player already on their books.

It is understood the Braidmen, who are determined to hold onto Millar, have been told they cannot register a new deal for their skipper while Larne’s pre-contract is still in place.

Millar, who has made almost 250 appearances for United, captained David Jeffrey’s men in last Saturday’s dramatic Samuel Geltson’s Whiskey Irish Cup final with Crusaders at Windsor Park.

The Sky Blues led 1-0 and looked set to lift the blue riband trophy for the first time in 33 years only for Josh Robinson to force extra-time with a scrambled equaliser in stoppage time.

The Crues went on to win the cup with virtually the last kick of the game, Johnny McMurray volleying home a 122nd minute winner against his former club.

Afterwards, Millar, who has been strongly linked with a summer move to Larne since the turn of the year, appeared to suggest his focus was on bouncing back with Ballymena next season.

“This hurts but we just need to learn from it and use it as fuel next year and go again,” he told reporters.

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