Burnley winger Michael Kightly keen on Mick McCarthy reunion at Ipswich Town

Burnley's Michael Kightly

Burnley's Michael Kightly - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy would like to work with his old Wolves favourite Michael Kightly again - but only if the price was right.

The versatile winger, still only 30, is surplus to requirements at newly-promoted Premier League side Burnley having been a bit-part player over the last two seasons.

He still has a year left on his Turf Moor deal though, so a fee may be required, and is on significantly more wages than Ipswich Town would be prepared to pay. Blues owner Marcus Evans would play hardball on both counts as he continues to run a tight ship.

It’s understood that Kightly was on the same coaching course as Town skipper Luke Chambers this summer and indicated that he would love to link up with McCarthy again at Portman Road and get some regular game time again.

The Blues are in desperate need of wing recruits given they have no players in that position at all at present following the departures of Ryan Fraser, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Liam Feeney (loans expired), Jay Tabb, Luke Varney and Larsen Toure (all released).


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Striker Freddie Sears played wide for the majority of last season, while McCarthy has already indicated that he would be prepared to play central midfielder Teddy Bishop on the flank this season should he fail to land any new faces for that role.

Basildon-born Kightly started his career in Essex football and, after catching the eye at Conference side Grays Athletic, McCarthy and Wolves came calling in 2006. With flying winger Matt Jarvis on one side and Kightly cutting inside from the right, the Midlands outfit won the Championship title in 2009.

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An ankle injury then kept Kightly out of action for 15 months and he admitted that lengthy spell on the sidelines left him battling depression. When he finally returned to fitness, Wolves were slipping towards relegation and McCarthy got the sack.

A switch to Stoke saw Kightly spend another year in the top-flight, then a loan spell at Burnley turned into a permanent deal.

In his three years at the Lancashire club he has become more and more of a fringe player. In the first season he started 32 league games as Sean Dyche’s side were promoted from the Championship in second-place behind Leicester, but there were just 10 league starts when the Clarets went straight back down and 12 league starts last season as they bounced back at the first time of asking.

Kightly finds his career at a crossroads, while Ipswich Town are arguably at one too as they prepare for their 15th successive season in the second-tier of English football.

McCarthy loves working with hungry players with a point to prove. He has often gone back to those he has worked with before too – Christophe Berra, Kevin Foley, Stephen Hunt and Sylvain Ebanks-Blake having all been reunited with their former boss at Portman Road.

Town’s pre-season campaign starts at Irish side Shelbourne tomorrow afternoon (3pm).

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