Tommy eyes loan switch

TOMMY Smith is weighing up his options as he prepares to follow Liam Trotter out of Portman Road.

Elvin King

TOMMY Smith is weighing up his options as he prepares to follow Liam Trotter out of Portman Road.

Trotter yesterday agreed to go to League One Millwall on one month's loan, and central defender Smith is set to follow suit this week.

Three clubs are believed to be keen on taking Smith on loan with Blues manager Roy Keane happy to allow the 19-year-old to make a temporary exit so that he can play games.

Smith is in line to represent New Zealand in the World Cup finals in South Africa this summer, and his prospects of impressing coach Rickie Herbert will be increased if he is playing regular first team football, which is something that Keane cannot offer at the moment.

A League One club is currently favourite to take Smith although Championship Plymouth are reported to be interested with ex-Town striker Paul Mariner now the Argyle boss with contacts still in the Suffolk area.

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Colin Healy is another Town player set to depart this month but with both management and players away from the club yesterday there was little going on.

Ipswich are being linked with a number of players, but Keane is only set to bring in new faces if he can 'balance the books' by clearing the decks.

A left-sided midfielder is his prime target with the recent arrival of Stern John improving the striking situation despite Jon Stead's current ban.

Trotter's previous loan period at Millwall was not a success when he made only three appearances for the Lions during the 2006/07 season when Willie Donachie was manager.

The 21-year-old had a choice to sign for Scunthorpe or Ipswich in the summer opting for a one year Town deal. He impressed while on loan at Scunthorpe and helped them gain promotion through the play-offs when they beat Millwall in the final at Wembley.

Trotter has made 26 first-team appearances for his home town Ipswich club and began this campaign as a regular.

He will finalise his loan move later this week ahead of Saturday's Millwall game at Carlisle or if that is off ahead of the Lions' following league game.

Ipswich have not given permission for him to feature in the FA Cup.