Keane misses out on Black Cats duo

By Derek Davis and Stuart WatsonROY Keane is already moving on with trying to sign the next players on his list after missing out on Sunderland duo Dean Whitehead and Daryl Murphy.

By Derek Davis

ROY Keane is already moving on with trying to sign the next players on his list after missing out on Sunderland duo Dean Whitehead and Daryl Murphy.

The Blues boss admitted defeat in trying to land the pair that would have cost Town in the region of �5m combined.

Instead it seems Stoke City boss Tony Pulis is in the box seat to land Whitehead within the next 48 hours and take him on their pre-season trip to Austria.

Murphy is today expected to have a medical with Hull City, who return from their trip to Italy tomorrow. (WEDS)

The opportunity of staying in the Premier League, and the wages that brings, appear more alluring than the prospect of working once more with their old Black Cats' boss.

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Speaking at the Blues' training camp in Portugal, Keane said: “I don't think those deals are going to be happening now for a number of reasons.

“I spoke to the two players last week and as far as I'm concerned the deals are dead. Part of it is financial and part of it was because the players decided they wanted to stay in the Premier League.

“You win some and you lose some. I've quickly moved on and I have got to say that I'm currently focused on working with the players I have already got at the club.”

Whitehead cost �150,000 from Oxford United, who will make a further 25 per cent of any profit on the sell on price, but his relationship with Keane at Sunderland was not always the smoothest although that didn't stop the midfielder considering the manager's offer to be the Blues' captain and personally travelling to Ipswich at the back end of last week to meet his old boss face to face.

Murphy, who Keane signed for �100,000 from Waterford United, is reported to have actually got to the medical taking stage before he decided to talk with Hull.

He has twice before been close to signing for Ipswich when former Town boss Joe Royle tried to bring him across the Irish Sea. A deal fell through the first time when Murphy returned home early from a trial due to sickness and a couple of years later the price proved too much for Town who would not give Royle the cash needed.

Although midfielder Lee Martin has been brought in from Manchester United, full back Damien Delaney and teenager Troy Brown, have been brought in Town are still after another striker, midfielder and defender at the least.

Keane said: “I still think we are short of one or two players for the course of what will be a tough season, but things are very quiet at the moment and I'm not expecting anything to be done in the next week or so."

Keane has recently been linked with Sheffield United's Danny Webber, who Crystal Palace boss Neil Warnock also wants. Tottenham defender Chris Gunter is another Town are reported to be chasing, along with half a dozen other Championship clubs.

Gunter was signed by Spurs from Cardiff City but not made the impact expected and the Wales international will drop back a level to find regular first team football.

Town carry on their pre-season schedule tomorrow when they go to newly promoted Brentford, with former Blues keeper Lewis Price there on a season long loan from Derby County.

Keane then takes the squad to the Republic of Ireland on Friday for a game at Waterford United followed by a friendly at his home town club Cork City on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Dan Harding has returned to Brighton on trial. The left back, who was released by Town, spent last week training with Yeovil in the hope of securing a deal.