Stephen Hunt set to train with Ipswich Town – but he’s out of the Blues’ budget

Stephen Hunt celebrates for former club Wolves

Stephen Hunt celebrates for former club Wolves - Credit: Archant

Republic of Ireland winger Stephen Hunt is set to arrive at Ipswich Town in the coming days – but he won’t be signing for the club.

A free agent having been released by Wolves in the summer, the 32-year-old will be training at Playford Road under his former club boss Mick McCarthy – the man who paid £3m for his signature in 2010.

However, having earned £32,000-a-week at Molineux, he remains out of Town’s wage budget. Even with a significant wage drop, the hard-working and versatile left-winger is unlikely to fall within owner Marcus Evans’ newly-restricted spending.

The ex-Brentford, Reading and Hull midfielder missed much of last season due to calf and hernia problems.

Impressive on his return to action in March, he wasn’t able to prevent his former club from relegation into League One.

Hunt saw a move to Championship club Blackpool fall through this summer, following a trial, and has been working alongside a personal trainer in his native Ireland.

Instead, it is another of McCarthy’s former Wolves players – Sylvan Ebanks-Blake – that the Blues are hopeful of signing, though they are set to face stiff competition for his signature.

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The two-times winner of the Championship Golden Boot award netted an impressive 15 times in a struggling side last season. He then broke his fibula in an end-of-season match against Birmingham before being released.

He has been doing his rehabilitation work at Molineux and is now just three-to-four weeks away from a full recovery, with McCarthy set to offer the powerful front man a short-term deal until the New Year.

The striker is keen on a return to the top-flight, but Premier League clubs cannot change their registered 25-man squads until January.

Ipswich have produced some impressive performances at the start of the new campaign, but they have often been punished for not taking their chances – most notably in last Sunday’s 2-0 defeat at Wigan.