Gerard Lyttle begins Cliftonville clear-out with five players released

Cliftonville manager Gerard Lyttle
Gerard Lyttle's side clinched a Europa League spot by beating Glentoran last week

Cliftonville manager Gerard Lyttle has begun his expected clear-out at the Solitude outfit.

Marc Smyth, Johnny Flynn and Paul George have not been offered new deals with Ciaran Murray and Caoimhin Bonner both transfer listed.

Lyttle was appointed a month after Tommy Breslin's departure in September.

He guided the Reds to the League Cup in January but they struggled thereafter and needed a play-off win over Glentoran to confirm a European spot.

However, Cliftonville's play-off victory was worth at least £160,000 in Uefa qualification payments and as a result, Lyttle is set to make a number of summer signings.

"We thank all of our departing players and we wish them all the best for the future," said the Reds manager.

"We are currently in discussions with a number of clubs for some of our other players and I envisage three or four of the remaining squad leaving before the start of the new season.

"I have identified a number of targets and the club are working on securing these players."

Smyth joined Cliftonville in the summer of 2012 after spells with Scottish clubs Ayr United, Partick Thistle, Airdrie United and Greenock Morton.

Flynn, who is also a defender, moved to the Reds from Falkirk in 2014 and played 70 games for the club.

George moved to the club last October but only made 10 appearances.

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