Magilton ready to start new wish-list

WITH one list all but dealt with, Blues boss Jim Magilton is ready to start on a new one.

Derek Davis

WITH one list all but dealt with, Blues boss Jim Magilton is ready to start on a new one.

With Angelos Charisteas, Nicky Maynard and Rudi Skácel all but written off Town are still keen to add to their promotion-chasing squad and are continuing to aim high.

Magilton has successfully captured Richard Wright, Kevin Lisbie, Gareth McAuley and Pim Balkestein, and is closing in on former Charlton defender Ben Thatcher.


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Centre half Bobo Balde looks to be top of that list, with his Celtic team-mate Lee Naylor someone else Ipswich have considered.

32-year-old Balde has been told by manager Gordon Strachan he can leave Parkhead even though he has one year left on his current contract.

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Wages could be a problem with the Guinea international currently on £28,000-a-week, and that was enough to put off Wolves, although Town and Birmingham City are hoping he will take a wage cut and a deal can be struck.

As he represents himself and no transfer fee from Celtic expected to be asked, a golden welcome and a long term contract offer could entice the 6'3'' Marseilles born defender to come south.

Balde started his career at Olympique Marseille but was loaned out to Mulhouse and Cannes before going to Toulouse, where Celtic signed him.

He was voted the Celtic Player of the Year in 2003, after helping the club to the UEFA Cup final and has won nine winners medals at the club since.

Injury restricted his opportunities last year and he has subsequently been told he can leave on a free transfer.

Left-back Naylor is understood to be wanted by Sunderland and Aston Villa but no concrete offers have been made for the former Wolves full back, who is known to be keen on a switch back to England.

Magilton has made it clear he is still chasing a big target man, with Coventry City's Kevin Kyle, Nottingham Forest's Nathan Tyson, Steve Howard from Leicester City, all possible contenders.

Plymouth, Burnley, Barnsley and Crystal Palace, have all been linked with Kyle but the £8,000-a-week wages that caused resentment at the Ricoh Stadium, mainly with the fans, has made those Championship clubs wary, although would fall into Town's pay structure.

Howard, a former team-mate of Gareth McAuley is another player whose style would fit what Magilton appears to be looking for, a big target man with experience.

It is also understood Magilton has been alerted to the availability of Egyptian forward Emad Meteb whose £1.5m move to Bristol City has fallen through.

The 25-year-old was due to join the Robins but ignored the clubs' instruction for him not to play in a friendly for his old club against which held up his work permit process and City pulled the plug.

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