Ipswich Town set to sign Blackburn Rovers striker Luke Varney on loan next week

Blackburn Rovers' Luke Varney.

Blackburn Rovers' Luke Varney. - Credit: PA

Ipswich Town look set to beat Championship rivals Brighton and Millwall to the loan signing of Blackburn Rovers forward Luke Varney.

The EADT and Ipswich Star understands that Varney – who has made just 11 substitute appearances in the league this season – has requested a temporary switch from Ewood Park and that the Lancashire club won’t stand in the way if a loan fee can be agreed.

Blues boss Mick McCarthy sees the 32-year-old as the perfect replacement for injured forward Noel Hunt, the latter set for a prolonged spell on the sidelines after landing awkwardly on his knee in last weekend’s 2-1 win at Fulham.

Varney, like Hunt, is an experienced, versatile front man that is available on a limited budget, will work his socks off and play his part in a close-knit squad vying for Championship promotion.

And it’s understood that Varney is keen to compete for a starting spot at a promotion-cashing side, and fulfil an ambition of working with McCarthy, rather than go to one of interested relegation-fighting duo Brighton and Millwall.

The Leicester-born player, capable of playing up top or out wide, was left out of Rovers’ 18-man squad for Tuesday night’s 1-1 draw at Cardiff, fringe player Chris Brown suddenly jumping above him in the pecking order.

Town currently have just two fit strikers in 21-goal man Daryl Murphy and Freddie Sears, with David McGoldrick still struggling with a thigh injury.

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Varney 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 Football League appearances.

Ipswich, fourth in the Championship table with 15 games left, now host Reading (Saturday) and Birmingham (Tuesday) in back-to-back home games.

The club will wait until the start of next week to complete any ‘emergency’ loan deals so that the maximum 93-day period would cover a potential Play-Off Final on May 25.