Blues after a new Taricco

IPSWICH Town are leaving no stone unturned in their search to bring success back to Portman Road.

Elvin King

IPSWICH Town are leaving no stone unturned in their search to bring success back to Portman Road.

They are scouring Argentina with the possibility of unearthing the next Mauricio Taricco, pictured right, the full-back who became a huge hit after signing for Ipswich.

Town's latest scouting venture is poised to bring quality players to the club from South America.

Blues chief scout Steve McCall and international scout Simon Hunt have both recently spent time in Buenos Aires, making a note of talent in several levels of Argentinean football.

And McCall said the exercise had been a big success with a number of players listed to become possible future stars at Portman Road.

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“Between us we saw between 30 and 40 games,” said McCall. “There are many similarities between the game over there and the English game.

“We have brought back DVD's for manager Jim Magilton to study, along with our recommendations, and it will be up to the manager and club owner Marcus Evans which players we take things further with.

“A shortlist has been made, but much depends on work permits, passport situations, fees involved and whether clubs are willing to sell.

“We have identified players who will be good enough to play in the Premier League.”

There are ten top clubs around the Buenos Aires area and with youth games in the morning and reserve games preceding first team matches, McCall and Hunt were able to see three games on Saturdays and three on Sundays.

“I was over there for 12 days and Simon was there for 12 days and we overlapped for one weekend,” added McCall.

“The work ethic in Argentinean football is the same as it is over here with plenty of hard graft and an emphasis on defending. It was not as technical as South American football is often made out to be.

“The players we have earmarked would fit into the English style.”

McCall and Hunt linked with scout Horacio Lorda - the man who worked with Charlie Woods, who is currently advisor to Magilton, to bring Taricco and Adrian Paz to Portman Road from South America in 1994.

“Horacio is keeping tabs on the situation in Argentina for us, and the situation is on-going,” said McCall.

“We are making enquiries, but it is too early to say whether we will see any South Americans coming over to Ipswich during the January transfer window or the summer close season.

“It was a good trip and one that has cemented a strong Ipswich Town representation in what is a footballing hotbed.”

Town have also been monitoring Republic of Ireland's player of the year Niall McGinn who was involved in Northern Ireland's friendly at Windsor Park.

The predominantly left winger will also play for Derry City in the FAI Cup final in Dublin on Sunday with Celtic, Chelsea, Norwich City and Nottingham Forest also keen on the 21-year-old.

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