Wright could return as Town's No. 1

RICHARD Wright could be back between the posts for Ipswich Town next season.The 30-year-old former England international could switch from West Ham to Portman Road within the next week.

Elvin King

RICHARD Wright could be back between the posts for Ipswich Town next season.

The 30-year-old former England international could switch from West Ham to Portman Road within the next week.

And this could link in with Malcolm Webster replacing departed Andy Rhodes as the Blues goalkeeping coach although Webster confirmed today that he has not yet had an interview with Town.

Wright's impressive displays helped the Saints escape relegation from the Coca-Cola Championship, and is believed to have whetted his appetite to return to regular first team football.

This time last year it looked as though Wright, who is still based locally, was on his way back to Portman Road when surplus to requirements at Everton.

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But at the 11th hour there was a problem and Wright signed for West Ham - with the lure of Premier League wages proving a big carrot.

After spending most of the last seven years watching from the bench at Arsenal, Everton and then West Ham, Wright is reported to be ready to become a number one again.

Marcus Evans' takeover of Ipswich may have meant plenty of general economy measures at the club, but the wealthy businessman is happy to back manager Jim Magilton's judgement in the quest to lift the Blues in the Premier League.

This will give Magilton, who is looking for a new No. 1 goalkeeper, a chance to offer a more lucrative deal to Wright this time around in the knowledge that the keeper played his best football with Ipswich and would be welcomed back by fans.

Webster is currently on holiday in Cyprus and is expecting to return to work at Southampton on Thursday.

He said: “Working with Richard again at the end of last season was superb. I have not had an interview with Ipswich but we will have to wait and see what happens.”

Southampton have a new board and managerial team, and the future of a number of club officials is likely to be made next week.

Webster, who worked with Wright at Ipswich when George Burley was manager and the Blues reached the Premiership and finished fifth in the top flight, is still based in St Ives, Cambridgeshire and commutes to the south coast.

He is a good friend of Town's new head of international scouting and recruitment Simon Hunt.

Former Norwich City keeper coach James Hollman and Nick Colgan, who was deputy to Stephen Bywater at the end of last season at Portman Road, are believed to have been interviewed. Two other interviews are also believed to have taken place.

Colgan, at 34, could well still see a future for himself as a player, and a dual role at Portman Road cannot be ruled out.