Magilton's last-gasp bid for striker

JIM Magilton will today make a last gasp bid to take David Healy on loan.The Blues boss is also lining up a move for Newcastle United's Shola Ameobi as a striker crisis looms at Portman Road.

Derek Davis

JIM Magilton will today make a last gasp bid to take David Healy on loan.

The Blues boss is also lining up a move for Newcastle United's Shola Ameobi as a striker crisis looms at Portman Road.

However, Ipswich Town have failed in their bid to land Ivory Coast international defender Abdoulay Meite.

Bolton agreed the former Marseille defender could join the Blues on loan after a bust up with Gary Megson. Magilton had offered him a lifeline, but Meite declined the opportunity and will instead spend the rest of the season training with Bolton's reserves, after refusing to play in the second half of Wanderers' 2-0 loss against Manchester United.

Although the Blues secured Manchester United full-back Danny Simpson, who made his debut in the 2-1 win at Scunthorpe, Town are still after a centre-half with Fulham defender Dejan Stefanovic a target.

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But with Pablo Counago suspended for three matches after his sending off, a striker has become a priority.

Magilton has been a long-time admirer of Healy and has tried to sign him on loan already but was knocked back by Roy Hodgson. That has not stopped the determined Magilton from trying again, although Healy was given six minutes of Fulham's 2-0 loss at Newcastle United on Saturday.

Magilton will be in Belfast on Wednesday to see record scorer Healy play for Northern Ireland against Georgia and hopes to bring him back to Ipswich the following day in time for Thursday's loan transfer window deadline.

Magilton is also expected to call Kevin Keegan once more to find out if England Under-21 striker Ameobi is available now that he ahs recovered from injury.

Plymouth Argyle are also keen to take the Geordie striker and Keegan has told Ameobi, who has not played for Newcastle since the loss against Arsenal in January, he needs prove himself or be sold in the summer.

Although Shefki Kuqi's hamstring injury is not as bad as first feared it is doubtful that he will be fit to play against QPR next Saturday.

The Blues are also without Jon Walters who has had a knee operation leaving them short of options to find a partner for Alan Lee.

Gary Roberts can play up front, as can Danny Haynes, while 18-year-old Jordan Rhodes is knocking on the door.

Counago will miss the games against QPR, Colchester United and Cardiff City after being dismissed, along with Scunthorpe's Jack Cork after the clashed.

The Spaniard was accused of spitting in centre-half Andy Butler's face in retaliation to being elbowed in the chin and Magilton will fine Counago the maximum two-week's wages, around £10,000, if the allegation is proved after an internal investigation.

Magilton said: “If Pablo Counago has spat at that lad I will throw the kitchen sink at him.”

Scunthorpe boss Nigel Adkins said they would not be appealing Cork's dismissal, their tenth sending off for the season, but was appalled at Counago's action that sparked the incident.

He alleged: “Counago spat in Andy Butler's face and there is no place for that in English football. It was a disgrace.”

Scunthorpe's failure to answer the Spanish inquisition with Counago and Sito Castro netting the two goals leaves them in deep relegation trouble while Town have moved to seventh in the table.

Magilton was thrilled with the win and the manner of the performance.

He said: “We started the game very brightly with a great goal and great finish. We might have one in at half-time two or three goals up. We had to play the conditions which were difficult for both teams.

“Scunthorpe readjusted better than we did after the sending off but when we got sorted and got our passing game going we got the full backs forward.

“Sito's a very good player and scored an excellent goal.”