Bruce set for Foxes switch

LEICESTER City look set to make a move for Ipswich Town defender Alex Bruce.

And for two good reasons. Firstly, Foxes manager Nigel Pearson was impressed with Bruce’s workmanlike displays during his recent loan spell at the Walkers Stadium; and secondly, ex-Town defender Wayne Brown looks to have played his last game for the East Midlands club.

Bruce overcame his season-long struggle with injuries to feature in Leicester’s last three games of the season, including the two play-off semi-final legs against Cardiff City, which the Bluebirds won on penalties after a 3-3 aggregate score.

The 25-year-old partnered Jack Hobbs in the heart of defence in both play-off ties, after fellow centre-half Brown was dropped from the squad because of a training ground row concerning the player’s alleged political support for the BNP.

While Brown is now the subject of an internal inquiry, and is still a member of Leicester’s squad, he has been linked with a move to League Two champions Notts County.

A former member of Colchester United’s promotion-winning squad of 2005-06, when the Essex club reached the Championship, Brown still has a year left on his contract with the Foxes. But he might fancy a fresh challenge at Meadow Lane, and the Magpies have already expressed their interest in the 32-year-old left-footer. Wages might be the only stumbling block.

Likewise, Bruce still has a year to run on his current deal at Ipswich, and he has certainly relished the change of environment at Leicester since his loan switch in January.

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In fact, Bruce recently revealed that Town have not even been keeping close tabs on his progress, which seems to suggest that he could be on his way out of Portman Road permanently, not least because manager Roy Keane wants to operate with a smaller squad next season.

“I’m not sure where I stand as I haven’t heard from Ipswich since January,” revealed Bruce before the play-off semi-finals.

“It’s nice to feel wanted and appreciated, and I’ve been enjoying it at Leicester. If I’m surplus to requirements at Portman Road, then I’ll look elsewhere.”

Bruce had only made a couple of brief appearances for Leicester, when a recurring groin problem forced him to have a hernia operation, but he ended the season in Pearson’s starting line-up and is reported to have caught the eye of the Foxes boss.

Ex-Birmingham City defender Bruce, who arrived at Town in the summer of 2006, has rattled up 115 league appearances for the Suffolk club, although he only played 13 games in the Championship for Keane’s men last season, including a brief spell as skipper.

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