Ipswich Town confirm loan signing of Luke Varney with Noel Hunt set to miss rest of season

Luke Varney, in action for Blackburn

Luke Varney, in action for Blackburn - Credit: PA

Ipswich Town have signed versatile forward Luke Varney on loan from Blackburn Rovers.

The 32-year-old – who can operate as a striker or out wide – has joined initially on a one-month loan, with the Blues ensuring the deal could be extended to cover the rest of the season, including a potential Play-Off Final on May 25.

Varney, who has made just 11 substitute appearances in the Championship this season, will boost Mick McCarthy’s forward options following the news that Noel Hunt may miss the rest of the campaign with a knee injury sustained in last weekend’s 2-1 win at Fulham.

“I’d had a couple of clubs interested in me but, to be honest, once I’d heard of Ipswich’s interest there was only one place I wanted to go to,” Varney told the club website.

“The lads are flying right now and to be involved with a club that’s right in the mix with a manager such as Mick McCarthy at the helm, it was something that really interested me.

“I had a good chat with the gaffer who has told me I’ll be given the chance to play and help the strikers we already have at the club.

“The boys have been fantastic so far this season and if I can use my experience and help in any way, then brilliant.

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“The gaffer has made me feel wanted and that’s all I’ve wanted. I had a difficult spell at Blackburn but I’m looking forward to this challenge.

“Already the lads have made me feel part of it and that’s all I’ve wanted really. I’m excited to pull on the Ipswich shirt and help the lads continue to push for promotion.”

Leicester-born Varney, who had also been interesting Brighton and Millwall, made his name at Crewe and then had seven figure moves to Charlton (£2m) and Derby (£1m), before further switches to Blackpool (£500k), Portsmouth (£750k), Leeds (free) and Blackburn (free). He’s scored 66 goals in 335 Premier League and Football League appearances.

A player that battles for every header and never gives the opposition defence a moments peace, he’ll fit in with McCarthy’s hard-working ethos and goes straight into the squad ahead of back-to-back home games against Reading (tomorrow) and Birmingham (Tuesday). He will wear the number 15 shirt.

On Noel Hunt’s injury, McCarthy said: “It’s a big blow for us and obviously a big disappointment for Noel as well

“He’s been great around the place and he’s made his mark on the pitch as well. We’ll look after him and we wish him a quick recovery.

“Luke is an experienced striker who knows what the Championship is all about, as well as playing in the Premier League, and he fits in with what we are looking for in a player. We’re delighted to have him here.”