Magilton hoping to unveil mystery man

JIM Magilton is hoping to unveil his fourth loan signing today, with Reading defender John Halls high on the list of possibilities.The player the Blues boss is expecting this morning is a defender who played last night in the Carling Cup but has already agreed terms to join the Blues.

By Derek Davis

JIM Magilton is hoping to unveil his fourth loan signing today, with Reading defender John Halls high on the list of possibilities.

The player the Blues boss is expecting this morning is a defender who played last night in the Carling Cup but has already agreed terms to join the Blues.

Reports suggested former Preston skipper Lucketti was a Town target but Magilton denied they had made a move for the centre-half, even though he is available on loan.


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Magilton said: “The search for players is on-going but Chris is not someone we have discussed here.”

Magilton was at Anfield last night watching Liverpool take on Reading and the result may affect the opportunity of securing the player.

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Possible targets there were Reading defenders Halls and Sam Sodje while Liverpool's Argentinian defender Gabriel Paletta and Stephen Warnock will have also been of interest.

Halls, the former Arsenal trainee who was on loan at Colchester, has not figured much this season after joining the Royals from Stoke and is looking for regular first team football.

Among the other possibilities are Pompey's Irish international defender Andy O'Brien, Spurs right-back Philip Ifill - who was on loan at Millwall last season - and Manchester United's David Gray.

With Lewis Price out for about a month with a cracked rib, Ipswich have brought in free agent Jaroslav Drobny, who was released by Fulham in the summer.

The Blues staff had initially hoped Price would be available for Sunday's game against Luton Town and are now saying two weeks but being realistic it is unlikely anyone would return from a rib injury for at least a month.

Drobny, who has just turned 27, has being training with the Blues for a couple of days and is likely to be handed a short-term contract to cover for Price's absence, although Shane Supple is expected to start on Sunday. The former Czech Under-21 keeper has played at Portman Road before, when he kept a clean sheet against England Under-21s in 1998, in one of his 18 caps at that level.

After leaving his home-town club Ceske Budejovice, he joined Greek club Panionios before being signed by Fulham when Edwin van der Sar joined Manchester United. Injury meant he struggled to get a first team game and his contract was terminated by mutual agreement in August.

Dynamo Kiev were strongly linked to him, as was a return to the Czech Republic with Sigma Olomouc, while Newcastle were recently thought to be looking at him as a short-term cover for the injured Shay Given before they settled on Pavel Srnicek.

Mark Noble, who is suffering from a groin injury, is suspended anyway while Jon Macken also misses out with a hamstring pull that will also mean him missing Town's trip to Plymouth on Tuesday.

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