Failure to score intensifies chase for Chopra

IPSWICH Town boss Roy Keane will continue his dogged pursuit of Cardiff City striker Michael Chopra this week following his side’s inability to score against West Ham on Saturday.

The Blues created some decent chances against the Premier League outfit in a generally promising display at Portman Road, but there is a slight worry that they could not capitalise against a tired looking Hammers side that were worked hard in training last week.

“If you look at this and the PSV game we’ve failed to score again and that is a concern to us,” admitted Keane, who saw Tamas Priskin and Jon Walters spurn particularly good opportunities in either half.

“We had the chances, but we said that the whole of last year so we know we’ve got to put the ball in the back of the net.”

The lack of goals inevitably led to Keane facing questions surrounding his not-so-secret admiration of Chopra – the man he brought to Sunderland for �5m in 2007.

“It’s an area of the club I certainly have to look at,” responded Keane, grinning broadly at the very mention of Chopra’s name.

“I obviously spoke to Dave Jones when we were signing Mark Kennedy and we talked about a few players, but I have to be respectful to Dave, Cardiff and Chops. There are a number of players I am interested in, but it would be wrong for me to say who I am interested in.”

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However, Cardiff boss Jones would confirm that Ipswich have registered interest in the man who scored 21 goals for his club last season.

He said: “Roy has made enquiries about him, but the money they are offering is less than what we owe Sunderland.

“Chops is happy here, but, like everyone else, he wants to see people come in. I’ve spoken to his agent a lot over the last week and he is happy for Chops to stay here. Why would I want sell one of my best players unless it’s a knock-out punch?

“Most of the players have had enquiries about them, particularly when a club is reported to be in financial trouble. I would do exactly the same thing. That’s always going to happen.”

Cardiff paid Sunderland an initial �500,000 for Chopra a year ago and recently renegotiated the terms of a second payment of �1.5 million which was due this month.

The overall fee for the ex-England U21 international is believed to be somewhere between three to four million pounds.

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