Accies ace interests Keane

IPSWICH Town are considering making a move for Hamilton Academical left back Brian Easton.

Derek Davis

IPSWICH Town are considering making a move for Hamilton Academical left back Brian Easton.

While most people assumed Blues boss Roy Keane was among a raft of mangers interested in Hamilton's highly-rated youngster James McCarthy when he was at their game with Dundee United over the weekend, I understand he was actually watching the 21-year-old defender.

With Ben Thatcher injured, Matt Richards released, and Dan Harding likely to follow him out of the Portman Road door for either Southend United or Reading, Keane needs at least one more left back.

Although Hamilton are not keen on selling their prized youngsters, they are not likely to stand in his way if their valuation, thought to be around �500,000.

Easton, who has two years left on his contract with Hamilton, progressed through the Accies' youth system and has made 100 first team appearances.

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After making his Scotland Under-21s debut against Northern Ireland he was selected for Scotland B team by George Burley last month.

Keane has also spoken with former Manchester United team-mates Danny Higginbotham and Paul McShane about joining Town.

Keane signed both for Sunderland but Higginbotham subsequently returned to Stoke City last September for �2.5m, the same as the Black Cats paid the Potters originally.

Republic of Ireland international McShane went out on loan earlier this season to Hull City but was recalled by Sunderland boss Ricky Sbragia.

Town have also been linked with Joe Mattock, a left back at Leicester City who has been recommended by former Foxes team-mate Gareth McAuley.

Town are reported to have made a �2m move for the England Under-21s defender but neither club have said anything. Sources in Leicester suggest city will be very reluctant to let their home grown talent leave and Mattock is understood to be happy to stay at the Foxes now they are back in the Championship and wait for a premier League club to come in for him.

West Ham made a bid for him in January 2008 and but injury prevented that move happening and even though he was called into the England Under-21 set up earlier in the season while helping City win the League One title, interest from the top flight has waned.

Town have also been linked with striker Paul Gallagher but look set to be disappointed in any attempt to bring in Celtic defender Bobo Balde and Manchester United left winger Lee Martin wit Birmingham City looking to sign both.

Balde has agreed to join City for pre-season with a view to a more permanent deal, while Birmingham are ready to pay around �1.5 for Martin.