It has been confirmed that AC Milan have exercised their option to buy young defender Cathal Heffernan from Cork City on a permanent deal.
Back in January it had been rumours that Heffernan would be joining the Rossoneri, and sure enough he arrived on an initial loan deal. There was plenty of fascinating background to his arrival such as his previous trials with Manchester United and Bayer Leverkusen, the role of Stephen Ireland and the fact his parents are Olympians.
Now, Cork have confirmed via a statement on their official website that Heffernan will join Milan after the Serie A champions exercised their option to sign him permanently following his loan spell.
Heffernan joined Milan at the end of January on loan, having made his first team debut for Cork in the final game of the 2021 season.
Cork City’s Head of Academy, Liam Kearney, said: “Cathal has clearly done well whilst on loan and is now getting the opportunity to sign permanently. That he is getting this opportunity is a testament to his own hard work and dedication, as well as the work put in by his coaches at Ringmahon Rangers and here at our academy. We are very pleased for him and we wish him the very best of luck in his future career.”
He made 13 appearances for Milan’s U18 side and then made his debut for the Primavera towards the end of last season showing just how highly thought of he is.
As per PunditArena, Heffernan himself spoke about the move being made permanent during a stream on Rebel Army’s YouTube account during the Jerry Harris Tribute Match.
“Words can’t describe how I feel about it, it just suits me to the ground. The culture, the weather, everything, I just love it,” he said.
“Since I have got over there I have just loved every second of it and I don’t take any day for granted. I just keep working hard and getting better every day.
“It was difficult at the start – the first two weeks were hard – but once I adapted it became second nature.
“To be honest I don’t actually know the exact date yet but we just got sent a pre-pre-season programme there so I will probably do that for the next few weeks. I’ll probably have another month at home and then in the middle of July I will go back.”