Butt linked with Blues move

IPSWICH Town manager Roy Keane is keeping tabs on the Nicky Butt situation after the 35-year-old midfielder impressed him during Saturday’s draw at Newcastle United.

The Blues boss’ priority is for a goalscorer, to hopefully help Connor Wickham in banging in the goals, and for a left back.

But having played beside England international Butt at Manchester United and knowing his character, Keane might see the gritty midfielder as someone who could give his side some stability in the middle of the park.

Butt is to leave Newcastle after helping them gain promotion and he wants to go into coaching.

But Keane sees his former team mate continuing to play for a while yet.

“Nicky won’t retire, I’m pretty sure of that,” said Keane.

“I think he can still play at a pretty high level, but whether that’s the Premier League, it’s up to Nicky.

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“As long as you can still play like we saw on Saturday, play as long as you can. There are plenty of years for coaching.”

Asked whether he might be interested in signing Butt, who spent six years on Tyneside, Keane said: “We’ll see – perhaps we couldn’t afford him.”

Like making a move for Sunderland striker Daryl Murphy, who is currently on loan at Portman Road, Keane would find agreeing a wages figure a likely sticking-point.

Butt’s know-how won Newcastle a late penalty at the weekend with Keane adding: “Nicky used his experience there and that’s what we’ve lacked all season, someone like him.”

Having played his football in the north, Butt might not be keen to venture south, but if the offer of a possible coaching post was to follow he might think seriously if Ipswich made him an offer.

Butt fits the bill in many ways although he’s already had offers.

“Coaching is definitely something I want to do,” he confirmed.

“I don’t want to leave football and I’ve a few offers to play at other places.

“Maybe I’d be interested if Ipswich came in for me.”

Preston are reported to be showing an interest in Butt, who was part of the Newcastle side relegated from the top flight last season, but one that bounced back by winning the Championship this term.

Keane is set to watch Town’s final Combination game of the season at Northampton this afternoon (kick-off 2pm) and he is expected to watch a number of senior players in action.

With decisions to be made shortly on the futures of a number of players on the Blues books today’s game might prove vital to some.

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