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Town and Wigan in battle for Pollitt

PUBLISHED: 14:56 15 June 2005 | UPDATED: 05:56 02 March 2010

IPSWICH look like losing out to old foes Wigan for experienced keeper Mike Pollitt.

Joe Royle targeted the Rotherham man to fill the role vacated by Kelvin Davis, who completed his protracted £1.

IPSWICH look like losing out to old foes Wigan for experienced keeper Mike Pollitt.

Joe Royle targeted the Rotherham man to fill the role vacated by Kelvin Davis, who completed his protracted £1.25 million move to Sunderland yesterday.

But it seems he will have to look elsewhere after the Latics, who pipped Town for the second automatic promotion spot, made their move.

Royle could switch his attention of Nottingham Forest's Paul Gerrard, who was with him at both Oldham and Everton as well as for a short loan spell at Portman Road.

Gerrard and Pollitt were both relegated from the Championship last season and are keen to at least remain at that level.

Forest boss Gary Megson would sell Gerrard, who has one year of his City Ground contract to run, in order to be able to reinforce other areas of his squad.

Armed with cash from the sale of Davis, Royle wants an experienced number one to give youngsters Lewis Price and Shane Supple valuable breathing space.

Both are highly rated and Welsh Under-21 international Price already has 11 senior appearances for Town under his belt.

But Royle has made it clear he intends going into the new season with a senior keeper - and 33-year-old Pollitt was at the top of his wanted list.

The one-time Manchester United youngster celebrated his 300th first team appearance for Rotherham, spread over two spells at Millmoor, when he kept a clean sheet at Leeds.

He cost them £75,000 from Chesterfield four years ago and his career has also taken him to Bury, Lincoln, Darlington, Notts County and Sunderland, as well as Oldham, Gillingham and Brentford on loan.

But when Pollitt returns from holiday tomorrow he is likely to go straight into negotiations with Wigan boss Paul Jewell, whose £250,000 offer has been accepted by Rotherham.

The chance of playing in the Premiership, allied to the fact that he is based near Bolton and would not have to uproot his family, is likely to influence his decision.

The introduction of the much-maligned transfer window system into The Football League next season is one of the main reasons why Royle has decided he needs an experienced keeper.

Price, 21 next month, was on loan at Cambridge United last season and could benefit from another similar stint somewhere next term.

FA Youth Cup-winning keeper Shane Supple, 18 last month, also has a big future ahead of him.

But Royle feels it would be too much of a gamble to start the season with just Price and Supple as his alternatives.

If it failed, he would have to wait until January to bring in another keeper, which is why he wants an experienced number one in place for the big kick-off.


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