Date: 6th January 2011 at 12:20am
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Ipswich Town manager Roy Keane has confirmed that he has begun talks with several clubs in the hope of landing some new signings during the January transfer window.

Keane told reporters before the start of the New Year that he had already identified a number of targets, though after a frustrating transfer period in Summer 2010, the Blues boss played down expectations of imminent deals or big signings.

‘I made a lot of noise in the summer and then failed to come up with the goods,’ he told local reporters in East Anglia. ‘We need reinforcements, and although it will not be easy in January I’d like to bring in experience in at least one or two of the positions that we need strengthening. But there will be nobody coming through the gates in the next day or so.’

Plenty of rumours have already been flying around, not least surrounding the futures of the four loanees currently at Portman Road. One of those four, Sunderland’s Jack Colback, has already fuelled speculation after revealing that he is keen on a permanent move away from the Stadium of Light, but Keane has dampened suggestions that Town will be keeping hold of the 21-year-old midfielder.

‘Of course I’d like to keep Jack, he’s my kind of player’, Keane told the Club’s Official Website; ‘We’re talking to Sunderland but a lot can happen in a couple of weeks so we will have to wait and see.’

We won’t be the only player interested in him though. There’s a long way to go yet before anything will be sorted.’

One of the major sticking points in keeping Colback could be the transfer fee, with suggestions that Sunderland boss Steve Bruce will demand a seven-figure sum for the youngster’s services. Whilst Marcus Evans is supposedly still prepared to back under-fire Keane with funds, there will only be a limited amount available without further sales. Some of that may be reserved for on-loan Plymouth striker Rory Fallon with whom the club are believed to have already agreed a fee should a permanent move be sought. That may be a simpler task after Sheffield Wednesday’s purported interest in the player was denied by Owls manager Alan Irvine.

Other names have been mentioned in recent press reports, both incoming and outgoing. Bolton Wanderers manager Owen Coyle revealed earlier in the week that defender Andy O’Brien, who recently sealed a permanent move to Leeds United, had also been given permission to speak to Ipswich before completing his transfer to Elland Road. Rumours have also persisted about former Manchester United goalkeeper Roy Carroll who has been training with Ipswich this week, but Keane has denied any suggestions of a deal.

On the subject of outward movement, the Blues boss has rejected further rumours that Town’s teenage striker Connor Wickham will be set to leave Portman Road this month. However, Keane refused to comment on speculation about fellow frontman Tamas Priskin making a possible loan move to Swansea City.

The idea of Keane being allowed to spend more money on new players will be a matter of concern for some Ipswich fans, with many feeling that the manager has had enough time and money to get a decent squad together. Monday’s home defeat to Nottingham Forest has hardly improved confidence in the Irishman, and with big cup games coming up over the next week, this month could well be make or break time for Keane.

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