Ex-Blues boss keen on Armstrong

THREE First Division clubs have shown an interest in taking out-of-favour Ipswich Town striker Alun Armstrong out on loan.Former Blues boss George Burley, now manager at Derby, has asked about securing Armstrong, who he bought for £800,000 from Middlesbrough in December, 2000.

THREE First Division clubs have shown an interest in taking out-of-favour Ipswich Town striker Alun Armstrong out on loan, writes Derek Davis.

Former Blues boss George Burley, now manager at Derby, has asked about securing Armstrong, who he bought for £800,000 from Middlesbrough in December, 2000.

Stoke City and Rotherham have also inquired about the striker's availability on a temporary basis, even though he has been handed a free transfer by Town manager Joe Royle.

Although looking as fit and strong as ever after an injury-free pre-season, Armstrong has found himself fifth in line among Town's strike force.


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Marcus Bent, Pablo Counago and Darren Bent have been regular starters in a three-man attack, and one of them may be sacrificed if Royle switched to a four-four-two, while Dean Bowditch was named among the substitutes for Friday's friendly against Levski Sofia.

Martijn Reuser has also been used up front recently, showing Town are quite well-endowed in that position.

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Royle admitted a loan move could be on the cards for the Newcastle-born former Stockport County and Boro striker.

He said: "We have a had a number of clubs asking about taking Alun on loan. There has been interest but nothing stronger than that at the moment."

A number of scouts watched Armstrong in action against Boston United last week when he scored with a 22-yard, first-time shot, after being set up by partner Bowditch.

Technically one of the best forwards in the league, Armstrong will always be best remembered by the Ipswich Town faithful for his wonderfully headed goal from a cross by Jamie Clapham as the Blues beat Inter Milan. He also scored Town's consolation at the San Siro when he struck from the penalty spot.

The 28-year-old is likely to be included in a strong Ipswich Town XI who take on AFC Sudbury at Kingsmarsh Stadium tomorrow night

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