‘He’s someone we love here’ - Town haven’t closed door on former loanee Keane
PUBLISHED: 13:57 14 May 2019 | UPDATED: 14:37 14 May 2019
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Ipswich Town have not closed the door on a permanent move for former loanee Will Keane.
The striker scored three goals in 12 appearances during a productive loan spell from Hull, where he is out of contract this summer and likely to be released.
Keane, 26, is understood to have interest in a full-time switch to Suffolk, but any move is complicated by a chequered injury history which saw him suffer hamstring trouble during his time with the Blues.
He missed nine games after suffering an initial injury at Wigan, before his season was ended early after aggravating the problem at Sheffield United in the Blues' penultimate game.
"Will's done really well since he came from Hull in the January window," Town's general manager of football operations, Lee O'Neill said.
"He's been unfortunate with the injuries he's had and I think he maybe tried maybe come back a little too quick. That was for the right reasons though because he wanted to make a contribution to the football club.
"He's someone we love here. He did really well here for a short period of time.
"It's a situation we're going to have to look at and there will also be his aspirations to consider as well.
"But he's a player who did well for us."
Recruiting strikers is an area of priority for Ipswich boss Paul Lambert this summer, with Ellis Harrison and Kayden Jackson under contract and Freddie Sears sidelined for the first few months of the season with a knee ligament injury.
As we previously revealed, the Blues have shown strong interest in Tranmere striker James Norwood, who scored to help his team reach the League Two play-off final on Monday evening.
The 28-year-old, who has scored 32 goals this season, is out of contract this summer and can move on a free transfer.
He is likely to move on, with Tranmere's only hope of persuading him to stay being if they can secure promotion to League One with victory over Newport County at Wembley. Even then it might not be enough.
While there are other clubs interested, it's understood the Blues continue to lead the race for Norwood's signature.
Conor Washington is another striker understood to be on the Blues' radar, with the Northern Ireland international now a free agent after leaving Sheffield United.