Roy poised for Naylor swoop

By Carl MarstonROY Keane is poised to raid his old club Celtic in an effort to solve his left-back problems at Portman Road.

Carl Marston

By Carl Marston

ROY Keane is poised to raid his old club Celtic in an effort to solve his left-back problems at Portman Road.

The Ipswich Town boss is tracking Celtic's out-of-sorts defender, Lee Naylor, although the deal would not happen straight away because the 29-year-old is currently playing in the Bhoys' first team.

This year is not even three weeks old, and yet Keane has already operated with three different left-backs.

David Wright filled the left-back role during the FA Cup win at Blackpool on January 3, only to then be dropped in favour of Dutchman Pim Balkestein for the following weekend's 1-1 draw at Leicester City.

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It was all change again last Saturday, with the versatile Jaime Peters impressing as an attack-minded left-back in the dramatic 3-2 victory over Coventry City.

Although Town have lost just one of their last 15 games, and are still buzzing after Pablo Counago's last gasp winner against Coventry on Saturday, Keane is still searching for a natural left-back.

Ben Thatcher has not featured all season, and remains out in the cold, while Wright is a specialist right-back, Balkestein a recognised centre-half, and Peters is not a defensively-minded full-back.

Keane was linked with Derby County left-back Jay McEveley earlier in the month, but now he seems to have turned his attention towards Naylor.

The former Ipswich Town double act of Tony Mowbray and Mark Venus are enduring a torrid time at Celtic. Manager Mowbray has seen his side drop further behind Rangers in the annual race to the Scottish Premier Division title. A 1-1 home draw against bottom club Falkirk has left them nine points adrift of their Glasgow rivals.

It was assistant manager Venus, rather than Mowbray, who presided over yesterday's press conference, looking ahead to tonight's Scottish Cup fourth round tie at Morton.

Venus made no mention of Naylor's potential move to Ipswich during yesterday's press conference, but it looks odds-on that the ex-Wolves man will be on his way out of Celtic later this month, when first choice left-back Danny Fox recovers from his groin injury. Naylor is set to play at Morton and again at St Johnstone in the league on Sunday.

Greek side Kavala are also believed to be tracking Naylor, so Town might have some competition for his signature.

Naylor made 294 league appearances for Wolves before joining Celtic in a �600,000 package during the summer of 2006. He has since clocked up 132 senior outings for the Glasgow club, but has only made four appearances in the Scottish Premier Division this term

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