Tykes in raid for Kev
IPSWICH midfielder Kevin Horlock is a transfer target for Barnsley.The Tykes want the 33-year-old Town star to boost their bid for promotion to the Championship.
By Mel Henderson
IPSWICH midfielder Kevin Horlock is a transfer target for Barnsley.
The Tykes want the 33-year-old Town star to boost their bid for promotion to the Championship.
But they are having the same problem as their League One rivals Oldham in coming up with an attractive enough package to tempt Horlock.
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A number of other clubs have also shown an interest in Horlock since Town boss Joe Royle made it known he would not stand in the player's way if he wanted to move on.
Barnsley have leapt to the front of the queue, although they only have until Tuesday to beat the January transfer window deadline.
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If they cannot agree a deal for Horlock it is likely that he will remain an Ipswich player until the end of the season, when his Portman Road contract is due to expire.
Royle said: “Barnsley are keen on Kevin but nothing has been sorted out and I certainly wouldn't rule out the possibility of him staying with us.
“If that turns out to be the case he will be treated just the same as anyone else on the payroll.”
Royle explained the thinking behind his recent decision to give Horlock the option of moving elsewhere now, rather than in the summer when he is unlikely to be retained by Ipswich.
The Town boss added: “As far as Kevin is concerned, I just felt I should give him a chance to get fixed up elsewhere if he wanted to. He could have moved on and been secure in the fact that he had a contract for next season.
“As a manager you have to do a bit of book balancing. Kevin is 33 and there are a lot of younger midfield players competing with him for a first-team place.
“Owen Garvan has come into the squad, Jimmy Juan has made a quantum leap and Matt Richards is now considered to be a midfield player rather than a left-back.
“Ian Westlake is still a young man, Vemund Brekke Skard is almost there with his fitness, while Darren Currie and Jim Magilton still have plenty to offer.”
Horlock, who was with Royle at Manchester City, moved to Portman Road on a free transfer from West Ham in July 2004 and has since made 62 senior appearances without scoring.
He has faded from the first team scene in recent weeks and has not featured in Town's last nine games.