Roy targets Bobo

ROY Keane is looking to bring in Celtic defender Bobo Balde to Ipswich Town.

Derek Davis

ROY Keane is looking to bring in Celtic defender Bobo Balde to Ipswich Town.

The Blues boss was in Glasgow earlier this week and is understood to have held talks with the French-born 33-year-old who will leave Parkhead as a free agent in the close season.

Keane tried to sign Balde when he was Sunderland boss but could not agree terms with the player, who has not featured for the Bhoys this year due mainly to a contract dispute.

The 33-year-old is seen by Keane as a natural replacement for Ivan Campo, who he has released from Portman Road, as the Guinea international can play both centre-half and just in front of the back four.

Balde represents himself and personal terms have been a stumbling block in the past with wages of around �28,000-a-week proving prohibitive for the likes of Sunderland and Wolves, while Ipswich were also linked with him last year.

Most Read

Now he is out of contract, though, the former Marseilles and Toulouse player will have to weigh up his options. While in Scotland Keane took the opportunity to watch his old club Celtic beat Dundee United 2-1 and run the rule over free-scoring Australian striker Scott McDonald and classy 32-year-old midfielder Paul Hartley.

Keane is understood to be on the lookout for a new striker but McDonald, who signed a five-year deal for Gordon Strachan's side last summer, is probably out of the Blues' reach.

Hartley, though, is another player coming to the end of his contract at Celtic and has not been offered a new deal as yet by the reigning SPL champions, who are involved in a close battle with Rangers to retain their title.

Another player that Town have scouted thoroughly in the past is left-sided defender Darren O'Dea, but he was an unused substitute in the game watched by Keane who was sat alongside injured Celtic skipper Stephen McManus.

Reports in the Scottish media have also suggested Keane was taking a look at Dundee United's Parisian-born attacking midfielder Morgaro Gomis, who is also attracting interest from Swansea City.