Armstrong a target for Sky Blues

COVENTRY City are today expected to make a move to sign transfer-listed Ipswich Town striker Alun Armstrong.Sky Blues boss Gary McAllister last night confirmed he had made strides towards getting in a couple of new strikers but would not name names.

COVENTRY City are today expected to make a move to sign transfer-listed Ipswich Town striker Alun Armstrong, writes Derek Davis.

Sky Blues boss Gary McAllister last night confirmed he had made strides towards getting in a couple of new strikers but would not name names.

I understand City chiefs were impressed with Armstrong's performance in Town's 3-0 win over the Sky Blues reserves last Wednesday and immediately started making inquiries into his availability and personal terms.

Armstrong was told the week before last that he was being made available on the free transfer list, although he still has one more year left on his contract. The £800,000 signing from Middlesbrough in December 2000 is not believed to be one of the top Town earners, but his leaving would help reduce the wage bill towards the £5m per year targeted by the club.


You may also want to watch:


Armstrong has weighed in with 17 goals for Town, but none more memorable than his header which beat Inter Milan at Portman Road in November 2001. He scored again in the San Siro a month later.

Injuries have curtailed his chances this season and a freak accident in a reserve match, which left him with a fractured wrist, summed up his misfortune. With Darren Bent, Marcus Bent, Pablo Counago and now Dean Bowditch moving ahead of him in the pecking order Armstrong may well relish the chance of a fresh start at another Division One club.

Most Read

I also understand that Leicester City have expressed an interest in securing Armstrong's services.

Although Coventry are struggling financially they have moved to trim their wage bill by culling 15 players from the squad. They have also been boosted by a £400,000 cash bonus from the deal which took David Thompson to Blackburn Rovers, who will finish in the top 10 of the Premiership. Many players have already moved on and McAllister is looking to bring in half-a-dozen new faces.

He said last night: "Strikers remain my priority and we are a wee bit down the line with a couple already. But to be fair to those players I will keep their names to myself until we actually nail them because we have been linked with so many players in the past, even when I played here before, and there are always things slipping away. So we will keep things close to our chest until we land them.

"It would be nice to get a fresh face in immediately to help with the anticipation for next season and with season tickets and stuff, but we don't want to be diving in.

"We want to bring four, five or six new players in and I don't think we can afford to make any mistakes this time."

Dion Dublin is also on McAllister's wish-list after allowing Jay Bothroyd to train with Bolton Wanderers after telling him he can leave.

Ipswich are hopeful of moving on a couple of players themselves but are still keen to retain the services of Jim Magilton, Fabian Wilnis and Richard Naylor. Wilnis and Magiton are today mulling over new contract offers while Naylor will be given a new deal to consider when he meets up with Joe Royle in the near future.

Nabil Abidallah is due to have a trial with Swiss club FC Thun, while Martijn Reuser, Finidi George and James Pullen are all on the free transfer list.

The more players Town can ease off the wage bill and the more season tickets, debentures and loan stock they can sell, the more Royle can manouvre in the free transfer and loan market.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter