Breaking Hearts

IPSWICH Town would break a few “Hearts” if they were to land up-and-coming defender Lee Wallace in the new year.

Carl Marston

IPSWICH Town would break a few “Hearts” if they were to land up-and-coming defender Lee Wallace in the new year.

Town boss Roy Keane is reported to be interested in signing talented left-back Wallace, who has been impressing for his club side Hearts. The 22-year-old also made his debut for Scotland in Japan last month.

Keane has tracked Wallace's progress in Scotland, by way of regular scouting reports, and is believed to be prepared to make a �2m bid for the player.

However, Edinburgh club Hearts would be in no rush to cash in on their young defender, who can also operate as a left wing-back or winger.

Their manager, Csaba Laszlo, wants to hold onto Wallace, who only signed a new three-year contract in May. However, Laszlo is not surprised that his high-profile defender is attracting interest from afar.

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“He (Wallace) did very well for us last season and signed a new contract. We saw many players leave in the summer and I do not want to lose many more,” insisted Laszlo.

“But I know how football works and if someone is doing well then it is okay for clubs to be looking at them.

“We have a young team at Hearts and need experience. Lee is just 22 but is a senior international. He has been part of our defence this season and has helped us a lot at the back.

“He is one of the best in his position in Scotland and can be a national player for a long time. If you tell me a club is interested in him, then I say this is normal.”

In addition to Wallace, Town have also been linked with another Hearts defender, Jose Goncalves, who can play either as a left-back or centre-half.

Former Portuguese under-21 international Goncalves is much travelled, having played in Switzerland, Italy, Lithuania and Germany. He is out of contract in the summer, and Town might consider offering him a pre-contract agreement when the transfer window reopens in January, ahead of a Bosman move next summer.

The left-back role has been up for grabs at Portman Road this season, although David Wright, normally a right-back, has done well in this position for the last five matches. Tommy Smith, Damien Delaney and Jaime Peters are others who have played left-back for Town this term.

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