Luton's Coyne tops U's boss's wish list

COLCHESTER United manager Geraint Williams' quest to bring in some new players could begin with the purchase of Luton Town skipper Chris Coyne.The U's boss was giving nothing away last night, but centre-half Coyne might well be on his way from the cash-strapped Kenilworth Road club this month, and the U's are leading the chase to sign him.

By Carl Marston

COLCHESTER United manager Geraint Williams' quest to bring in some new players could begin with the purchase of Luton Town skipper Chris Coyne.

The U's boss was giving nothing away last night, but centre-half Coyne might well be on his way from the cash-strapped Kenilworth Road club this month, and the U's are leading the chase to sign him.

United currently have the worst defensive record in the Championship, which is the prime reason why they are propping up the table with just 22 points from 25 games.


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Australian-born defender Coyne, who arrived in this country 12 years ago when signing for West Ham, has been a stalwart of the Luton team since 2001.

But the Hatters now need to off-load players. The League One club were recently docked 10 points for going into administration, and the deadline for offers to buy the club was yesterday extended until January 7.

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Williams was active in the loan market yesterday, extending defender Adam Virgo's loan stay from Celtic until the end of the season. The transfer window reopens for permanent deals today.

The U's were reported to have had a bid for Southend centre-half Adam Barrett turned down by the League One promotion-chasers last week, but they look in a stronger position to sign Coyne.

The 29-year-old passed the 150-mark for senior appearances for Luton this term, having originally arrived in a £50,000 deal from Scottish club Dundee.

He was plagued by injuries last season, which did little to help the club's struggle against relegation. But he has been fighting fit this campaign, starting 18 league and six cup games.

Born in Brisbane, Coyne played for Perth SC before his £150,000 switch to West Ham in January, 1996. He only made one appearance for the Hammers, as a substitute, but enjoyed loan stints with Brentford and Southend before his move north-of-the-border to Dundee in 2000.

Williams has targeted several new players, ahead of the transfer window, although he admitted that the club's position at the foot of the table might persuade one or two not to come.

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