Lisbie is all yours... for now

KEVIN Lisbie will see out his season-long loan at Colchester United - unless Ipswich Town can find a buyer for him this month.

Stuart Watson

By Stuart Watson

KEVIN Lisbie will see out his season-long loan at Colchester United - unless Ipswich Town can find a buyer for him this month.

Town boss Roy Keane had originally stated that he would be exercising his right to recall the 31-year-old striker at the start of the January transfer window with view to a sale, but then went on to suggest that he might also consider putting the reluctant player back in the Ipswich team.

However, with Lisbie reiterating that he 'didn't think he would play for Ipswich again' yesterday, Keane has now decided to allow the forward to continue playing for his beloved Essex club in order to keep his value high and attract a bidder from elsewhere.

“I was delighted to get the call from Ipswich to say that Kevin could continue with us,” said U's boss Aidy Boothroyd, after Lisbie unexpectedly reported back for training at Colchester yesterday morning.

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“The situation is ongoing but he is with us now until the end of the season unless Ipswich tell us otherwise. That's the matter closed as far as I am concerned, until it is open again!”

The Suffolk club will now continue to try and find a buyer for unwanted asset Lisbie for the remainder of this month's transfer window, with the striker set to play in the highly-anticipated clash between Colchester and Norwich on January 16.

Keane may well have changed his mind over Lisbie's recall following his ability to extend Crystal Palace striker Stern John's loan deal at Portman Road. The Town boss is known to be a big admirer of John and, should the Trinidad & Tobago striker impress for Ipswich in the coming weeks, he may yet try and sign the Crystal Palace player on a permanent basis by using Lisbie in a swap deal.

London-born Lisbie spent more than a decade playing for Charlton at the start of his career and he still has a base in the capital. It was his reluctance not to move closer to Ipswich which played its part in Keane shipping him out to Colchester in the first place, so a London-based club would appear to be his most likely destination.

Colchester chairman and owner Robbie Cowling has admitted that the high-flying League One club are likely be priced out of a permanent move for their top goalscorer if a Championship club shows interest, however, they could still try their luck with a low level offer towards the end of the month if no others show interest.

Lisbie - whose Ipswich contract doesn't run out until the summer of 2011 - admitted: “This is certainly a strange time for me.”

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