Dundalk have confirmed that influential midfielder Chris Shields is leaving the club.
The 30-year old will bring the curtain down on a nine-and-a-half year spell with the club after Friday's SSE Airtricity Premier Division game with Bray Wanderers.
Across his 348 appearances for Dundalk, Shields has won five league titles, three FAI Cups, three League Cups, three FAI President’s Cups, a Unite The Union Champions Cup and a Leinster Senior Cup.
He was part of both runs to the UEFA Europa League group phase, first in 2016 then captaining the side in 2020.
Shields is expected to join Linfield.
Without confirming the news, he told DundalkFC.com, "A fantastic opportunity has arisen for me, and it’s one, for family and football reasons, that I can’t really turn down."
Shields added, "When a club enjoys lots of success, there are plenty of variables, but I am lucky enough to have been a constant, which is nice. When I was at Bray Wanderers, I would never have imagined the success I would go on to have, and I probably take it for granted now.
“When I leave, I will probably only really appreciate the teams, players, and managers I’ve played with and the great people I’ve been around. It makes it that extra bit special when you’re winning things with people you are very fond of.
“I’m sure I’ll shed a few tears when I play my last game against Derry City at Oriel Park on Friday night. It will be very hard to mask my emotions.
"I always used to sign off with a little wave to my family in the main stand, and it will hit me when I do it for the final time on Friday.
“I’d like to thank Jim Magilton and Bill Hulsizer for understanding my reasons for making the move and for their help in making the transition.
"Day in, day out, I see how tirelessly people work behind the scenes to achieve perfection on the pitch at Oriel Park and I know that success will come back to the club. Vinny Perth has come in to steady the ship and I know that he and the players in the dressing room will do that.
“Finally, a word to the fans. When I came to Dundalk, I was a 21-year-old who was made captain of a huge and great club. I had a lot on my shoulders and I probably didn’t react that well in my first season here, but I would hope that I’ve managed to win some of you around!
“I absolutely loved living in Dundalk. It’s a one town team, and those places are special. You walk past fans and you get to know everyone on first name terms. They’ll still abuse you over the wall, but they’ll also still have a friendly chat with you in a coffee shop in town the next day!
“I fell in love with the club, I fell in love with the town and I’ll never forget my time here. It has been one hell of a ride, and I have loved every single minute of it.”