Ward plays down Keogh interest

Colchester United boss John Ward says he is unlikely to bring defender Richard Keogh to the club.

COLCHESTER United boss John Ward says he is unlikely to bring defender Richard Keogh to the club.

The 23-year-old turned down the offer of a new contract at Carlisle United earlier this week and is set to become a free agent at the end of the month.

Ward originally brought Keogh to Brunton Park in 2007 and with the Essex-born defender stating a desire to return to the south, a move to the Weston Homes Community Stadium had been heavily muted.

U’s boss Ward returned from his holidays this week though and has immediately doused the rumours linking him with the determined defender.

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“I know Richard very well having had him as a player when I was manager at Carlisle but at the moment I don’t think we will see him coming here,” said Ward.

“He’s a defender and we have got defenders. We’ve good full-backs and centre-backs and our priority is elsewhere in midfield.”

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Ward has already revealed that it looks likely that David Prutton is likely to sign elsewhere, David Fox has been sold to Norwich City, while John-Joe O’Toole isn’t due back from his cruciate knee injury until Christmas at the earliest.

That leaves just Kemi Izzet as Colchester’s only remaining specialist central midfielder who enjoyed any real time on the field last season. Back-up options include Anthony Wordsworth, who moved in from the left towards the end of last season, the want-away David Perkins – who spent virtually all of last season out on loan – and Ian Henderson, who was used mainly as a wide midfielder.

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