Roy plays Deal Or No Deal

By Carl MarstonWHAT happens, or doesn't happen, today, could well have a bearing on how long Roy Keane remains the manager of Ipswich Town.

Carl Marston

By Carl Marston

WHAT happens, or doesn't happen, today, could well have a bearing on how long Roy Keane remains the manager of Ipswich Town.

The clock is ticking as Keane bids to bolster his squad before the transfer deadline for emergency loans ends tonight.

The Irishman has made no secret of the fact that he wants to recruit another striker, possibly a loanee keeper and perhaps even a left-back.

But “wanting” and “getting” are not the same thing. Keane has rivals galore as managers up and down the country will be looking to strengthen their squad. It's their last chance before the transfer window for permanent deals reopens in January.

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Yesterday, it was revealed that experienced left-back Ian Harte, of former Leeds fame, had been the subject of an approach from Ipswich.

However, Harte's current employers, Carlisle United, turned down Town's bid without batting an eyelid.

Town manager Keane knows all about Harte. The duo were team-mates in the Republic of Ireland squad, and Keane signed the 32-year-old when he was the Sunderland boss, although he only made eight appearances for the Wearsiders.

Keane has admitted that he wants to improve the balance of his team, by recruiting a natural left-back. David Wright, a right-back specialist, has been playing on the left in recent matches.

Harte played nearly 300 senior games for his first club Leeds, and chalked up 64 caps for Republic of Ireland. But he only signed a new two-year deal at Carlisle over the summer, and Cumbrians boss Greg Abbott does not want to lose him.

Ibrahima Faye is another left-back that Keane has been tracking. Faye had a trial game for Town Reserves in the East Anglian derby against Norwich at the end of October, but any hopes of recruiting the 30-year-old Senegalese defender have so far been held up by paperwork.

Meanwhile, Keane is also hoping to have a new loan keeper in goal for Sunday's Championship visit to Cardiff City.

Keane has the option of promoting Richard Wright back to the first team after an absence of six matches.

But the two-cap England international, and last season's Town player-of-the-year, conceded 14 goals in the half-dozen games up to the arrival of Asmir Begovic, and Keane is believed to be loathe to bring him back in. Begovic returned to his parent club Portsmouth earlier this week.

Ipswich could also apply for special permission if necessary to bring in a goalkeeper even after the emergency loan deadline expires today.

With Brian Murphy arriving from Irish football to stake a claim for a regular place between the posts in January, Wright will be disappointed if he doesn't get a chance to regain his number one position over the next five weeks.