Stead in shock loan move talks

IPSWICH Town joint leading scorer Jon Stead is today thinking over a loan move to fellow Championship club Coventry City.

Elvin King

IPSWICH Town joint leading scorer Jon Stead is today thinking over a loan move to fellow Championship club Coventry City.

It is understood that the 26-year-old striker spoke to Sky Blues manager Chris Coleman last night.

This is after Blues boss Roy Keane agreed a deal with the midlands club that could take Stead to the Ricoh Arena on loan for the rest of the season - with a view to a permanent move in the summer.

If Coleman can convince Stead to move the deal will be one - with Keane then expected to bring a new front player on loan to the club.

Stead has scored six goals in 24 league appearances for Town this season, and he was in a rich vein of scoring form when controversially sent off in the defeat at Crystal Palace on Boxing Day.

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He notched two goals against QPR at home two days later but when his appeal was heard he was given a four match ban and spent part of last month in Dubai.

Keane sold Stead to Sheffield United for �750,000 in January 2007 five months after taking over as Sunderland manager.

The Owls were then a Premier League club while the Black Cats were in the Championship.

Stead joined Town from the Blades initially on loan in September 2008 before a fee of �600,000 was paid when the deal was made permanent.

Last season Stead scored 12 league goals in 29 appearances including an overhead special in the 1-0 win at Reading.

Although Keane has brought Daryl Murphy and David Healy in on loan this month he has allowed Tamas Priskin to go to QPR for the rest of the season.

This leaves Pablo Counago and Connor Wickham, 16, as the only other striker on the books apart from Murphy and Healy - although skipper Jon Walters can play a more forward role.

With Town owner Marcus Evans' policy of players having to go out before others can come in Stead's imminent departure could lead the way for another forward arrival.

Stead is happily settled in the Suffolk countryside, and still has to agree to move to the midlands.

Coventry have confirmed the loan signing until June of striker Freddie Sears, 20, from Premier League West Ham, and they also want to include Stead in their line-up when they entertain QPR tomorrow.

Ironically, Stead, who has not started the last two Town games, came on for the last 12 minutes against Rangers in Ipswich's 2-1 win at Loftus Road on Tuesday.

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