'We had some contact with Ipswich' - Colchester boss on interest in Sears

Freddie Sears pictured during the FA Cup defeat against Portsmouth. Picture: Steve Waller

Colchester United are interested in bringing Ipswich Town striker Freddie Sears back to the club. Photo: Steve Waller - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Colchester United boss Steve Ball has confirmed his interest in Ipswich Town striker Freddie Sears but says he doesn't think a January switch will be going ahead.

Town are looking to bring a couple of creative players to the club this month - talks ongoing about loan deals for Barnsley winger Luke Thomas and Preston attacking midfielder Josh Harrop - and will need to move on at least one senior player to make that happen due to the new League One salary cap constraints.

Meanwhile, the U's, currently 13th in the League Two table, are looking to bring in a new forward to replace Luke Norris, who has joined their fourth-tier rivals Stevenage. 

That's what's led to discussions over whether Sears could return to the club that Ipswich signed him for, in a £100k deal, back in January 2015.

The 31-year-old is set to be out of contract at Portman Road in the summer, though the Blues do have the option to extend that deal by a further year.

Despite having recovered from a hamstring injury, he was left out of the Town squad for last weekend's 3-2 home defeat to Swindon.

Speaking to the Colchester Gazette, Ball said: ""We're in the market for a striker and possibly others.

"Freddie was one we liked and obviously looked at and we had some contact with Ipswich. At the minute though, it looks like that won't be going ahead."

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Sears initially joined Colchester on loan from West Ham in January 2012 before going on to make the move permanent that summer. He scored 36 goals in 81 starts and 28 substitute appearances for the Essex club, who were then a League One outfit.