Stead has fought his way back in favour

ROY Keane has not ruled out Jon Stead having a long-term involvement with Ipswich.

The Blues manager placed Stead’s name on the list of eight players he was happy to part company with that was circulated to clubs in June.

And the 27-year-old striker could be on his way to Cardiff City as part of any deal that could bring Ross McCormack to Portman Road.

But Keane has been impressed in what he has seen from Stead since the new season began.

“If Jon keeps playing as he is now he will be back in my starting XI,” said Keane.

“He took his goal well at Middlesbrough last Saturday and was a shining example to the younger players in the Carling Cup at Exeter on Tuesday where he was unlucky not to add to his tally.”

“Jon will be involved in our home fixture against Burnley on Saturday.”

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Stead has talked to Blackpool this summer and other clubs have shown interest with Keane happy with the way the player who became a father for the first time has conducted himself.

“It’s wrong to say that I’m trying to move Jon on,” added Keane.

“Sometimes you have to free up your squad and alter the dynamics of the club.

.If we receive offers for players I speak to the player and the rest is up them.

“Jon went and spoke to Blackpool, but came back and I welcomed him with open arms.

“Jon has always done things the proper way.”

One player to arrive at Town yesterday was 19-year-old left-sided midfielder Andros Townsend who has joined the Blues on a season-long loan from Tottenham.

He is set to be included in Keane’s squad for tomorrow’s match.

Town are still in talks over the permanent signings of strikers Ross McCormack from Cardiff City and Jason Scotland from Wigan Athletic.

“There is a lot of work still to be done in the McCormack situation,” confirmed Keane.

“And if Jon Stead is to go the other way - there is a lot of work in that as well.

“And we may have agreed a fee with Wigan for Scotland, but that is just the start.

“We have to negotiate with him and his agent and we will see how the roller coaster ride pans out.

“He is an experienced striker who knows Carlos Edwards well from the Trinidad days and he seems a good lad.”

Keane confirmed that he has not received one phone call enquiring about out of favour striker Pablo Counago.

Gareth McAuley, Tamas Priskin, and Marton Fulop are available to return to the Town team against Burnley, but Luke Hyam is a doubt with a shin problem and Troy Brown is out for a week or so with a twisted ankle.

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