Hunt is new overseas scout

SIMON Hunt will today be unveiled as Ipswich Town's new overseas scout.The 45-year-old, who held a similar position when George Burley was the Blues manager, is due to sign his contact at Portman Road and start working immediately in bring in talent from around the world.

Derek Davis

EXCLUSIVE

By Derek Davis

SIMON Hunt will today be unveiled as Ipswich Town's new overseas scout.

The 45-year-old, who held a similar position when George Burley was the Blues manager, is due to sign his contact at Portman Road and start working immediately in bring in talent from around the world.

Chester-born Hunt followed Burley to Derby, Hearts and Southampton, helping him to sign a clutch of players from abroad.

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Blues boss Jim Magilton is hoping Hunt can help find him a few gems from the continent and beyond in the way he did in his previous stint as Town's eyes and ears abroad.

Hunt has recently been working at newly-promoted West Bromwich Albion as sporting and technical director to Tony Mowbray

Hunt's arrival today coincides with the expected signing of Dutch defender Pim Balkestein who is due to complete his medical this afternoon.

Hunt is especially active in Scandinavia where he played and coached. As a player he tuned out for Wrexham in the 1970s before playing for IF Elfsborg and IF Brage among others. He also coached Swedish sides Brage and Kalmar FF.

It is understood Blues new owner Marcus Evans was particularly keen to appoint an overseas scout and met with Hunt before confirming Magilton's choice.

A number of high calibre scouts applied for the job with former town FA Cup winner David Geddis a strong candidate.

Luuk Balkestein, father of Dutch defender Pim, is also understood to have been among the contenders.

Hunt's arrival coincides with the signing of Pim who is today expected to be in Ipswich for his medical and to complete the move from Heerenveen, who have been paid around £180,000 in compensation for the out of contract 22-year-old.

Another highly-rated continental player that could be on his way to Ipswich is Barcelona B team leading scorer Jose Emilio Guerra who the EADT revealed on Saturday was a Magilton target.

Magilton confirmed he would like to sign the 26-year-old who is valued at around £1m by the La Liga giants.

A couple of players unlikely to join Town are Leon best from Coventry City and that perennial link Ian Harte.

Although Magilton showed an interest in best last January the Sky Blues are reluctant to sell and if they do it is more likely that he will join his home-town club Nottingham Forest.

Harte gets linked every year but Town have shown no interest in signing the 30-year-old free agent.