Town target Hibs ace

IPSWICH Town and Bristol City could be going head to head to capture Hibernian's highly-rated attacking midfielder Dean Shiels in January.

Derek Davis

IPSWICH Town and Bristol City could be going head to head to capture Hibernian's highly-rated attacking midfielder Dean Shiels in January.

The two clubs lock horns at Portman Road tonight in search of three points but, along with Plymouth Argyle, are been reported to have watched the former Arsenal trainee closely.

Shiels is out of contract next summer and it is understood Hibs will ask only a nominal fee for him when the transfer window opens.


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Shiels suffered an accident as an eight-year-old which left him blind in his right eye. The eye was removed surgically in 2006 after complaining of headaches.

The 23-year-old is well-known to Blues boss Jim Magilton, who has watched him progress through the ranks for Northern Ireland where he has played seven full internationals.

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The Magherafelt-born player started his career as a trainee at Arsenal, but never played first team and was signed by Tony Mowbray for the Hibees in the summer of 2004 and he has scored 29 goals in 100 starts and 42 appearances for the SPL side.

Although Magilton has first option on signing on-loan Darren Ambrose from Charlton on a permanent basis in January, he is looking to clear the decks in January, which could make room for a player of Shiels' ilk.

Shiels is a former team-mate of Bristol City's Ivan Sproule who will face the Blues tonight and Robins boss Gary Johnson is understood to have also been keeping tabs on the 5'11'' player who can operate on both flanks and up front.

Town are also looking at signing at least one defender with free agent Graham Gartland, whose last club was Drogheda, Celtic's Darren O'Dea and Carl Hoefkens at West Brom on the list of possibles.

Meanwhile, Norwich City last night signed Carl Cort who is a free agent after leaving Newcastle United.

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