Stead’s move could be off

JON Stead’s potential summer move to Coventry City looks like being dead in the water.

Chris Coleman was yesterday sacked as Sky Blues boss, therefore probably dashing any hopes that Stead may have had of switching from Portman Road to the Ricoh Arena.

That means Stead could well start next season still on Ipswich Town’s books, intent on getting back in favour with boss Roy Keane.

The 27-year-old target man suffered an up-and-down last season with Town. He was at one time the club’s joint leading scorer, after bagging six goals in 10 appearances towards the end of the year.

But he never really recovered from the blow of being sent off at Crystal Palace on Boxing Day. He scored a brace in the following match, a 3-0 win over QPR, but his appeal against the red card was thrown out, leading to a four-match suspension.

Unable to regain his starting place long-term, Stead signed on loan to Coventry in mid-February, having discussed the move with his pregnant wife, and the possibility of relocating to the west Midlands.

It was going well until he suffered a cartilage injury that required surgery, and so brought about a premature end to this season.

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Before that injury Stead, who had scored a couple of goals in 10 outings, had said: “Things are up in the air until the end of the season.”

Coleman was mulling over signing Stead on a permanent basis this summer, but his dismissal yesterday, after a winless run of 11 games at the end of the season, has almost certainly closed that door in Stead’s face.

Meanwhile, following hot on the heels of Tottenham’s reported �5m bid for Connor Wickham, Town boss Roy Keane revealed that he had already received considerable interest in his skipper Jon Walters, and Stoke City seem to be leading the chase with a possible fee of �4m involved.

Meanwhile, Wolves and Fulham are the latest in a long line of Premier League clubs to be tracking teenage sensation Wickham.

But Keane has made it clear that he doesn’t want to sell his best players, and Wickham and Walters certainly fall into that bracket.

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