Roy admits to Premier targets

IPSWICH Town could still be heavily involved in the January sales, even though manager Roy Keane has a top-heavy squad.The Irishman had originally hinted that there would be precious little in the way of transfer activity, at least in terms of incoming players, when the window reopens on January 1.

Carl Marston

IPSWICH Town could still be heavily involved in the January sales, even though manager Roy Keane has a top-heavy squad.

The Irishman had originally hinted that there would be precious little in the way of transfer activity, at least in terms of incoming players, when the window reopens on January 1.

Keane has always suggested that a few of his current playing staff will be on their way to other clubs, on loan deals, but he has now admitted that one or two new faces might also join the ranks at Portman Road.

"I need to get the balance of my squad right," insisted Keane.

"I have one or two potential targets, but it's going to be hard, because of financial reasons and where we are in the league (19th spot). One or two might be at Premier League clubs.

Most Read

"It could be a busy few weeks ahead, because some of my players need to go out on loan.

"There are a few who are not even in the squad at the moment, and yet should be playing regularly in the Championship. I don't want their careers to stand still," added Keane.

Several of Town's fringe players are set to leave on loan moves next month, so following in the footsteps of Dutchman Pim Balkestein, who is currently playing for Brentford in League One.

Fellow defenders Tommy Smith and Troy Brown are obvious contenders, as is midfielder Colin Healy, who made his first appearance in more than four months in the 3-1 defeat at Crystal Palace on Boxing Day. Healy has been linked with a short-term switch to Hartlepool.

Liam Trotter, another midfielder who is currently out-of-favour, could also be signing a loan deal in the near future. Trotter was linked with a possible switch to Scunthorpe last month.

Looking at potential targets, Town are reported to be interested in left winger Peter Halmosi, who is currently out of the picture at Premier League club Hull City.

The 30-year-old Hungarian international might be tempted to leave Hull on a loan package, which has also prompted interest from several other Championship outfits, including Sheffield United, Coventry and his old club Plymouth.

Halmosi has only started two games for the Tigers this term, despite his high-profile arrival during the summer of 2008 for a club record fee of �2m.

The left side of midfield has certainly been a problem position for Town this season. Carlos Edwards and Jon Walters both had spells on the left flank during the 3-0 win over QPR on Monday, as did substitutes Owen Garvan and Jack Colback. The duo of Alan Quinn and Jaime Peters have also operated as left wingers in previous games.

Luciano Civelli, a naturally left-sided specialist, remains some way off a return to action after suffering a long-term knee injury during last season's home game against Burnley.

Definite arrivals at Town in the new year are striker Kevin Lisbie, whose loan deal from Colchester has expired, and keeper Brian Murphy, who was snapped up from Cork a couple of months ago but had not been eligible to play before January.

Keane is also hoping to extend midfielder Colback's loan from Sunderland, a deal he hopes "will be straightforward." He could also try and extend Stern John's loan stay from Crystal Palace.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter