Blues target Lisbie

IPSWICH Town have made moves to sign Colchester United striker Kevin Lisbie and Southampton defender Rudi Skácel.

Derek Davis

IPSWICH Town have made moves to sign Colchester United striker Kevin Lisbie and Southampton defender Rudi Skácel.

Although Greek international Angelos Charisteas remains a Jim Magilton target and they will speak to him which he returns from holiday next week, the Blues have been given permission by the U's to speak to the former Charlton striker who topped the Layer Road scoring charts last season.

Although his 17 goals for the Essex club could not keep them up, it was an impressive return as he demonstrated his Championship ability and enough for Town to make an offer of more than £500,000 for the Londoner.

Lisbie, who has two years left on his current deal but with a get-out clause, last night confirmed he was mulling over a move away from Layer Road.

If he joined Town it would make him one of the few players who have turned out for the three East Anglian sides, having enjoyed a loan spell at Norwich City while with the Addicks.

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Lisbie said: “Ipswich Town have made an approach for me, through my representative. There have been talks but I must stress that it's very early days and it's not very far down the line.

“I'm still very much a Colchester United player and I'm enjoying this week's fitness programme with the rest of the lads at Loughborough University.”

Barnsley and Burnley have already expressed an interest in Lisbie, who signed on a free transfer from Charlton last summer.

According to reports in the local press in Yorkshire, Championship outfit Barnsley were warned off by a £1m prize tag. But Lisbie did not believe this to be the case.

He said: “I have an agreement with Colchester and a £1m asking price is not it. I have a big family and I don't want to uproot, so I wouldn't want to move far anyway.”

Moving along the A12 to Ipswich would not involve too much disruption and the U's have already bolstered their own strike-force this week by signing Steven Gillespie for a club record £400,000 fee from Cheltenham Town.

It is possible that if Town can secure both Lisbie and Greek striker Charisteas they will do so without losing last year's player of the season Jon Walters.

Although reports persist that a deal has been done with the forward the EADT understand this is well wide of the mark.

Chief executive Derek Bowden last month confirmed that no bid had been made by Stoke City for Walters and, as of this morning, that remains the case.

Stiffening up the rear-guard has also been high on Magilton's list of priorities and a deal to bring in Czech Republic international Skácel is progressing well.

Matching his £12,000-a-week wages at St Mary's should not be a problem but the Saints are keen to get him off their wage bill and would accept a bid of around £1m for the player.

Town's overseas scout Simon Hunt is well acquainted with the left-sided player who will be 29 next week, after bringing him to the attention of George Burley, who signed him at Hearts and Southampton.

Although he made a name for himself in Scotland as an attacking midfielder, scoring a raft of goals to take the Jambos top of the SPL before Burley was sacked, Skácel impressed when he dropped in at left back for Southampton following the departure of Gareth Bale to Spurs.

The former Marseille player went to Hertha Berlin in the Bundesliga last January for the second half of season with worries over his international place cited as the reason.