U's close in on former Town kid

COLCHESTER United could be on the verge of signing versatile defender Lee Beevers from Lincoln City.

Carl Marston

By Carl Marston

COLCHESTER United could be on the verge of signing versatile defender Lee Beevers from Lincoln City.

U's boss Paul Lambert has already stated that he wants to recruit another central defender, and former Ipswich Town trainee Beevers is believed to be his main target.

Beevers has the advantage of also being able to play at right-back or left-back, two positions he has filled impressively during his four-year stay at Lincoln.

The 25-year-old is currently out-of-contract at Sincil Bank, so a move to Colchester could be completed very soon, especially as his previous plan to join Motherwell fell through following manager Mark McGhee's recent departure for Aberdeen. He would be available on a free transfer, under the Bosman ruling.

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Lambert has been unsatisfied with his defensive department, ever since he arrived last October. Australian international Chris Coyne and ex-Leeds man Matt Heath have both been out of favour, while Paul Reid missed the end of last season with a broken knee cap.

Furthermore, his first-choice centre-half, Pat Baldwin, is stalling over a new contract. The ex-Chelsea trainee is currently mulling over the club's offer while on holiday.

Likewise, right-back Alan Maybury is also out-of-contact, although he is expected to sign a new deal in the next few weeks.

Doncaster-born Beevers, who is actually qualified to play for Wales (he has made several appearances at under-21 level), left Ipswich without making a first team appearance in March, 2003.

He joined Boston, for whom he made 72 appearances, before switching to neighbours Lincoln for an undisclosed fee (believed to be �50,000) in early 2005.

Beevers was named the Imps' supporters' player-of-the-season in 2006-07, and has been a virtual ever-present under manager Peter Jackson.

He rejected the offer of a new contract in February, and also turned down an improved offer. McGhee's departure from Fir Park has seemingly scuppered an expected move to Motherwell, and the U's are now leading the chase to capture his signature.

Speaking last week, manager Lambert confirmed: “I am looking at bringing in a new centre-half.

“Matt Heath has rarely figured, and Chris Coyne needs to be playing regularly in a World Cup season, which I can't guarantee him. Pat Baldwin has been terrific, but we have made him the best offer we can, which he is currently mulling over.”