Could Coyne be No. 1 target for Blues?

GRIMSBY Town's Welsh international keeper Danny Coyne has dropped his strongest hint yet that he could leave Blundell Park with a number of First Division clubs tracking him including Ipswich Town, Burnley and Coventry, writes David Vincent.

GRIMSBY Town's Welsh international keeper Danny Coyne has dropped his strongest hint yet that he could leave Blundell Park with a number of First Division clubs tracking him including Ipswich Town, Burnley and Coventry, writes David Vincent.

The 29-year-old stopper is the highest earner at the Mariners and his club are desperately trying to cut their wage bill following relegation to the Second Division.

But a salary of less than £5,000 a week is not high by First Division standards.

Ipswich Town boss Joe Royle and former manager George Burley have both previously been linked with the Grimsby keeper.


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Last July a free-transfer move to Cardiff City, then in the Second Division, collapsed because Coyne couldn't agree terms. His future at Grimsby is again in doubt.

For Coyne, who has a year left on his current deal, the biggest factor remains his hopes of making the breakthrough with Mark Hughes' Wales side as he eyes a possible trip to Euro 2004 in Portugal in a year's time.

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Burnley seem to be the front-runners to land him.

"It's always nice and flattering to be linked with a big club but nothing has come of it yet," said Coyne.

"I take all the speculation with a big pinch of salt. But you have to look at your career at the end of the day and I want to play at the highest level possible.

"Playing for Wales is another ambition I'm trying to fulfil on a regular basis and I've got to be playing as high as I can to achieve that.

"I'm still under contract at Grimsby, and I don't want to be disrespectful to them. I've got into the Wales squad playing for Grimsby and I've had the best football of my career here. But I want to play as high as I possibly can."

Ipswich Town boss Royle has already seen one keeper target, Birmingham City's Ian Bennett, snub an approach by saying he will accept a new two-year deal offered by Steve Bruce.

And the favourite to become his new No. 1 at Portman Road is now Charlton Athletic's released Ben Roberts.

Royle, away on holiday in Majorca, says he is in no hurry to get a new keeper in.

Both Andy Marshall and James Pullen have been told they can leave but they are still under contract at Portman Road.

The future of Matteo Sereni, on loan in Italy, also needs to be sorted out this summer but he clearly wants to remain in Italy and a return to England looks unlikely.

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