FORMER Celtic winger Aiden McGeady has admitted that Spartak Moscow may look to cash in on him this summer as he enters the final year of his contract in Russia.
The 27-year-old winger played for the Republic of Ireland in their 1-1 friendly draw with England at Wembley on Wednesday night as speculation mounted over his future.
McGeady has been repeatedly linked with a move back from eastern Europe since sealing his £9.5 million switch from Celtic in August 2010, with several Barclays Premier League clubs having been credited with an interest in him. The Glasgow-born midfielder insists he is happy in Moscow, despite admitting some time ago he was unlikely to sign a contract extension. But he is aware the rumour mill will swing into action once again in the coming weeks. McGeady said: “I have only got a year left on my contract, so it’s bound to happen. Maybe Spartak want to cash in on me now because, if they don’t, there’s a possibility I could leave for nothing. But I am happy there just now.”
McGeady met up with the Ireland squad after playing what could prove to be his last game for Spartak last weekend in a 2-0 final-day victory over Alania Vladikavkaz. However, his season looked to have ended significantly earlier after he was handed a six-match ban following his dismissal in a 2-1 defeat at Mordovia Saransk.
McGeady later admitted kicking a TV microphone as he headed for the dressing room but denied making a gesture towards fans and was also accused of damaging a dressing-room door.
However, his suspension, which would have seen him miss the start of the new campaign, was eventually reduced to two games. He said: “It was blown out of proportion a little bit.
“Suddenly, it was a six-game ban and I trashed the dressing room, that sort of stuff. I got a six-game ban for basically doing nothing. Obviously Spartak felt the same as me and it was reduced to two. When do you see a six-game ban reduced to two?
“I played the last game – obviously the authorities knew they had got it wrong. I am just glad it was quashed. I was hanging about for a few weeks just waiting to see when the appeal was going to be heard. Spartak seemed to rush it through and after two games, I was able to play in the last game of the season, which was great.”
McGeady still has work to do, however, before he can embark upon his summer break, with Wednesday’s game the first of four Ireland will play in the space of a fortnight.
They face Georgia in Dublin on Sunday and world and European champions Spain in New York on 11 June, but the real business comes next Friday night at the Aviva Stadium when the Faroe Islands arrive for a World Cup qualifier.