Eagle eyed by Royle for left-back spot

Ipswich Town are being linked with Crystal Palace left-back Danny Granville, now a free agent, after the relegated team allowed several of their stars' contracts to lapse.

Ipswich Town are being linked with Crystal Palace left-back Danny Granville, now a free agent, after the relegated team allowed several of their stars' contracts to lapse, writes David Vincent.

Granville, now 30, is well known to Town manager Joe Royle, having played for him when he was in charge at Manchester City.

Royle signed Granville for £1.2 million for City in November 1999 after he had snapped him up, initially on loan, from Leeds United.

Granville was in the City team on May 7, 2001 at Portman Road when Ipswich won 2-1 to relegate Royle's side. Shaun Goater scored first for the visitors but Matt Holland and Martijn Reuser, with a diving header, won it for the Blues.


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Royle admitted he would like to recruit a left-back and the experienced former Chelsea, Leeds and Manchester City man certainly fits the bill.

Town, who signed two strikers last week in Nicky Forster and Sam Parkin, have lost a lot of experience from across the squad, with the likes of Tommy Miller, Shefki Kuqi, Darren Bent and Kelvin Davis having gone.

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Following relegation, Palace boss Iain Dowie is due to meet several of his out-of-contract stars this week, including Granville, Darren Powell and Dougie Freedman, but he will be looking to reduce his playing budget in the Championship.

Granville was in the side and playing well at the end of last season in the Premiership as the Londoners eventually lost their relegation fight after a stirring battle.

Royle, after two successful transfer deals last week, said: "We have another one up our sleeve and it hasn't hit daylight yet. Suffice to say, we are working on it."

Londoner Granville came through the ranks at Cambridge United and the first of several big moves took him to Stamford Bridge for £300,000.

He played 26 games and scored one goal before Leeds United came in for him with a £1.6 million transfer fee.

But he only played 14 games at Elland Road before he was loaned out to Manchester City and then signed by Royle for £1.2 million.

Granville was out of favour under Kevin Keegan, who preferred to play with a 3-5-2 system, and Trevor Francis paid £500,000 to take him to Selhurst Park.

The next Palace boss, Steve Kember, put him on the transfer list at the end of 2003/04 but Dowie reinstated him and he became a key member in their promotion campaign.

During the 2004/05 season, Palace allowed several players' contracts to expire so as not to be stuck with players on Premiership salaries if they were relegated. Granville can now listen to any offers.

Another former Manchester City star, 35-year-old striker Shaun Goater, is in limbo at Reading.

He has played 49 games for the Royals but another game will trigger a further £50,000 payment to his former club.

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