Heal do! Roy may raid old club

IPSWICH Town manager Roy Keane is exploring the possibility of going back to his former club Sunderland to bolster his goal output.

Elvin King

IPSWICH Town manager Roy Keane is exploring the possibility of going back to his former club Sunderland to bolster his goal output.

Keane has said that his sights are currently set on a striker from outside the Premier League but Northern Ireland international striker David Healy cannot be discounted having been linked with a move to the Blues since Jim Magilton's days in charge at Portman Road.

He appears surplus to requirements at the Stadium of Light with Black Cats manager Steve Bruce unlikely to use him this weekend despite Darren Bent's injury and Kenwyne Jones' suspension.

And with his international boss Nigel Worthington making it plain that Healy needs to be playing regular first-team football if he wants to be part of the Northern Ireland starting line-up, a move away from the north east could now suit the proven goalscorer.

Fellow Sunderland striker Daryl Murphy is also believed to be available, but he doesn't have the track record that Healy has with Keane desperate for someone to make an impact from day one.

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With Fraizer Campbell likely to be a lone striker for Sunderland at Wigan on Saturday, both Healy and Murphy may feel the time is right to move on.

Today sees the deadline for loan transfers before the transfer window reopens in January.

Meanwhile, Keane's quest for a left-back fell on stony ground yesterday, when an approach for the experienced Ian Harte was turned down by his current club Carlisle United.

Town manager Keane is a big fan of Harte, and the Suffolk club are reported to have tried to sign the former Leeds favourite on a loan deal, with a view to a permanent move in the new year.

The duo were team-mates in the Republic of Ireland squad, and Keane signed the 32-year-old when he was the Sunderland boss, although Harte only made a total of eight appearances for the Wearsiders.

Keane has admitted that he wants to improve the balance of his team, by recruiting a natural left-back. David Wright, a right-back specialist, has been playing on the left in recent matches.

Harte played nearly 300 senior games for his first club Leeds, and chalked up 64 caps for the Republic of Ireland. But he only signed a new two-year deal at Carlisle over the summer.

Ibrahima Faye is another left-back that Keane has been tracking. Faye had a trial game for Town Reserves in the East Anglian derby against Norwich at the end of October, but any hopes of recruiting the 30-year-old Senegalese defender have so far been held up by paperwork.

Keane was at Portman Road yesterday afternoon to watch a behind-closed-doors friendly against Celtic, which ended in a 2-2 draw.

Triallist Devon Yao set up the first and scored the second for an Ipswich Town XI that also included regular first-team squad players Richard Wright, Pablo Counago, Connor Wickham, Tommy Smith, Colin Healy and Liam Trotter.

American-born winger Yao nodded down for Healy to break the deadlock with a delightful long-range lob on the half-hour mark.

Yao doubled the lead from close range in the second half, after Celtic had failed to clear Wickham's long throw.

But Celtic finished the game strongly. Graham Carey converted a 70th minute penalty, after a foul by Troy Brown, before Willie Flood grabbed an 85th minute equaliser.