Keane confident he can agree deals with key players
IPSWICH TOWN: Roy Keane is confident new deals can be agreed with key players whose contracts expire in the summer.
Seven from Saturday’s squad that lost 1-0 in their Championship fixture at Hull City have only seven months left on their current deals.
And with four loanees also in the party of 18 it shows the urgent necessity to get players’ futures tied up.
“I’m not involved in the fun and games that goes on over contract talks,” said Keane.
“This is for the owner and the chief executive to deal with, although they know my feelings and the players I would like to keep.
“Discussions are taking place behind the scenes and ideally as a manager I would like it all to be settled pretty quickly – like yesterday.
“If I think it is appropriate to have a word with a player I will.
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“I do not see that happening, and if the players are happy here - as they seem to be - it should be sorted fairly soon.
“I don’t see the process dragging on.”
In total Town have 21 players who will be out of contract on June 30, but this includes Pablo Counago (Crystal Palace) and Kevin Lisbie (Millwall) who are on season-long loans and the seven youngsters given 12 month contracts after coming out of the academy last summer.
On top of the prospect of losing out-of-contract players Jack Colback (Sunderland), Jake Livermore (Tottenham) and Darren O’Dea (Celtic) are on loan to January and Andros Townsend (Tottenham) until the end of the campaign.
There are players who have seven months left on their contracts that will be expected to leave the club like Colin Healy, Alan Quinn and Ian McLoughlin while some of the 18 or 19-year-olds have plenty of work to do during the next few months it would seem.
Keane will be looking to bolster his squad in January and may well have to finance his own purchases again.
This could see a couple of sales from his more experienced staff members or alternatively he could gamble on how much wrath he would receive from supporters if he let 17-year-old Connor Wickham go upon the receipt of a �5 or �6 million bid from Liverpool as the Reds look to increase the number of youngsters on which they can build for the future.
Ipswich Town players out of contract on June 30 2011: B Murphy, G McAuley, D Delaney, C Edwards, D Norris, A Lee-Barrett, A Quinn, C Healy, C Hourihane, I McLoughlin, B Clark, D Cawley, L Hyam, T Brown, T Eastman, R Lamb, J Ainsley, R Murray, J Griffiths plus loanees P Counago and K Lisbie.
Ipswich Town players currently on loan at the club: A Townsend, D O’Dea, J Livermore, J Colback.
Ipswich Town players with contracts to June 30 2012: S O’Connor, G Leadbitter, C Wickham, J Scotland, T Priskin, T Smith, M Fulop, L Civelli, M Kennedy.
Ipswich Town players with contracts to June 30 2013: J Peters, L Martin.