Blues target Kinsella after Bent leaves

REPUBLIC of Ireland international Mark Kinsella is among the most likely targets to bolster the Blues squad after two big earners were moved off the wage bill, writes Derek Davis.

REPUBLIC of Ireland international Mark Kinsella is among the most likely targets to bolster the Blues squad after two big earners were moved off the wage bill, writes Derek Davis.

Marcus Bent and Jermaine Wright, who were earning around £30,000 a week between them, will come off the wage bill on July 1.

Bent completed his £450,000 move to Everton last night and Wright has told the club he will not accept the new deal offered to him. He is expected to sign for a Premiership club next week.

He returns from holiday on Saturday and while he could still report for pre-season training at Portman Road it is unlikely.


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Skipper Jim Magilton is another who has not given a firm assurance that he wants to stay at Ipswich, and he is also still on holiday.

Regarding Kinsella, Royle said: "We have not made a move for anyone as yet but I'm not ruling him out. I will have a clearer picture by the end of next week of who is still here and what we need.

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"My priority was a centre-half and a striker and, even though we have lost John McGreal we have brought in Jason De Vos, so we are covered there.

"We are still a little top heavy with forwards but Marcus going does free things up a little. If Jermaine and Jim go then getting a midfielder becomes a priority and while we have not made any move for Kinsella I'm not saying he is not someone we may consider."

Town tried to bring Kinsella in on loan last season but Aston Villa would not allow him to go as they said they wanted him in the first team once he had fully recovered from a knee injury.

He eventually went to West Brom, where he helped then clinch promotion, but he was not kept and is now a free agent.

Swindon Town have expressed their desire to sign him and hope to hold talks with the midfielder when he returns from holidaying in America.

Originally from Home Farm in Dublin, Kinsella started his career at Colchester United where he was a huge favourite before Charlton snapped him up from under the noses of many clubs, including Ipswich, who at various times either could not afford him or agree a deal between the two clubs.

The Irishman has skippered his country and played alongside Matt Holland in the Japan/South Korea World Cup two years ago.

Martijn Reuser is close to sealing a move to Dutch side Willem II, which leaves just Pablo Counago among the big earners left from the old regime, but even though there have been murmurs of interest from abroad nothing concrete has yet materialised and he will be back on Monday for pre-season training.

Bent, 26, opted for Everton after holding talks with David Moyes earlier in the week and spending time at Fratton Park discussing a move with Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp.

He admitted Moyes' long-term interest in him – the Scot was keen on Bent when he was manager at Preston and the striker was at Blackburn – was a key factor in choosing the Toffees, and vowed to give Everton fans goals.

He said: "I scored 10 for Leicester last season and I didn't play in every game. I scored in the majority of games I played in so hopefully the fans will see pace, a bit of aerial power and most importantly goals."

Royle added: "We wish Marcus all the best. It is a move which suits both clubs and the player so we are delighted for him."

Meanwhile, Fabian Wilnis, Chris Makin and Lewis Price have all accepted new deals at Portman Road and Richard Naylor is expected to follow suit.

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