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‘If I was free, I’d go back in a heartbeat’ – McCarthy on Sunderland vacancy

PUBLISHED: 18:08 03 November 2017 | UPDATED: 18:08 03 November 2017

Mick McCarthy, pictured after taking charge of Sunderland in March 2003. Photo: PA

Mick McCarthy, pictured after taking charge of Sunderland in March 2003. Photo: PA

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy says he’d return to former club Sunderland ‘in a heartbeat’ if he was free and available.

This Wednesday marked the Yorkshireman’s fifth anniversary in charge at Portman Road, but he has seen his once high popularity levels among fans drop during 18 months of stagnation.

• ‘Be careful what you wish for’ – Mick’s message to Town critics

McCarthy is out of contract next May and has recently said there is no guarantee that he would sign a new deal if offered one by owner Marcus Evans. He added he does not want to simply be ‘ordinary’ with the Blues.

Sunderland are now without a manager after they sacked summer appointment Simon Grayson this week. Having just come down from the Premier League, the Black Cats are in the Championship relegation zone and without a league win at The Stadium of Light this entire calendar year.

“I’m contracted here,” said McCarthy, when asked if a return to the club he guided to the Championship title in 2004/05 might interest him.

“Maybe if I was out of contract... Oh yeah, if I was out of contract, and I was free and available, then yes I’d go back in a heartbeat because I loved my time there.

“But I’m not out of contract, I’m not free and available, so no I wouldn’t be going back.”

• ‘Good!’ – what McCarthy said when he was linked to the Aston Villa job in October 2016

Town thrashed Sunderland 5-2 at Portman Road at the end of September. The Wearside club might just be looking to fill their current vacancy with an experienced firefighter who can operate on a budget and McCarthy, who rescued Town from a similar mess in 2012, certainly fits that bill.

Former Rangers boss Ally McCoist is the current bookies’ favourite, with Peter Reid having thrown his hat in the ring.

• What McCarthy said when he refused to rule himself out of the running for the Republic of Ireland job in October 2013

Asked if his former employers might come calling, McCarthy wryly replied: “That would please a few people (Ipswich fans) if they did wouldn’t it?”

He continued: “(It’s unlikely) with all the managers that are out of work. It’s not in my interest anyway. My interest is to get a result against Preston (at Portman Road tomorrow), to preserve my record here and what I’ve done and for us to start moving back up the league.

“I’m not looking for any other jobs. I’m not interested in that. But when I’m free and available, yes, I will be looking for another job and Sunderland would interest me, of course it would.”

• Comment: Was the swearing really necessary Mick? Caustic comments burned bridges

Ipswich Town will announce the loan signing of Birmingham City midfielder Stephen Gleeson tomorrow morning.

Bundesliga side Werder Bremen are said to be one of a number of clubs considering a January bid for Ipswich Town loanee Bersant Celina, according to reports.

Bartosz Bialkowski and Cole Skuse will both be fit for Ipswich Town’s trip to Bolton on Saturday.

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy is hopeful he will add to his squad in time for Saturday’s visit to Bolton.

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy says he expects keeper Bartosz Bialkowski to still be at the club come the end of the season.

Tommy Smith will be allowed to pursue a move to MLS side Colorado Rapids as long as Ipswich Town are able to sign a replacement defender.

Ipswich Town travel to Bolton Wanderers for a Championship clash on Saturday (3pm).

Bersant Celina could have joined Bolton Wanderers in the summer rather than moving to Ipswich Town - and he’s convinced he made the right decision.

Ipswich Town’s Bryan Klug was spotted keeping an eye on Colchester United and Wycombe at the weekend.

Sports writer Andy Warren takes a look at Ipswich Town’s business in the January transfer window so far.

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