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Transfer babble....

Keano linked to more Jocks, and what he thinks of striker-extraordinnaire Jon Stead...

Well it's widely accepted that January is going to be a bit mental on Wearside with Keano being allowed to spend some Irish (and Hays travel) money to bring in some fresh new blood.

Not because Keano is a vampire, but because he wants to improve the squad we have, and ensure a place in the play-offs come the end of the season.

Given this, the papers do tend to throw a few names in every week as to who might be interesting the boss, though it's nothing as manic as the speculation will be come the opening of the window no doubt.

One of these names is Stephen Pearson, a 24-year old ginger, who plays in midfield for Celtic. Apparently he's meant to be good, but cannot get into the Celtic side because of their policy to restrict all development for Scottish youth prospects in favour or journeymen foreigners.

His agent, Willie McKay - who is, despite his name, Scottish, told the Daily Record on Wednesday: 'Gordon Strachan has reluctantly agreed to let Stephen go in January if the price is right.

'Gordon understands Stephen's situation and it was a great meeting.

'The Celtic manager knows Stephen is a great professional, who has always been popular within Parkhead and among the Celtic fans,' added his agent.

'But Gordon can't guarantee him a game every week and, while he would like to keep him at the club, he recognises Stephen needs first-team football.'

He's rated at 1m according to the papers, but I reckon Quinny would be able to get this down a bit considering they signed him for only 350,000 from the mighty Motherwell.

The papers have also linked Keane with a double bid for highly rated Hibs pair, Scott Brown and Kevin Thomson, who would cost about 3m together.

Plenty of clubs are said to be interested, including fellow Scottish prospect-crusher Rangers, but with Keane at the helm these days any target remains a real possibility.

Other names linked include the Mags' Nicky Butt, and ex-midfielder Claudio Reyna, though both would be surprise buys in January.

Regarding outgoings, despite Jon Stead's recent transformation into a non-humiliating striker, Keane does not seem to fussed,

'Hopefully the loan would be of long-term benefit to Sunderland.

'It's worked out pretty well for Derby. You don't send a player out on loan if you don't want him to do well.

'There was always a chance he'd get goals and Derby are doing well. We're monitoring his situation and hearing good things. Going there I knew he'd get some goals. He just needed a run and I couldn't guarantee him that.'

It is expected that most loan's out of the club will be made permanent, with a few exceptions, and Stead's form at Derby will only mean more money for us.

However seeing the likes of Stead and Lawrence - on target for Stoke this weekend - helping sides further up the table than us is as frustrating as making bacon on the George Forman only to drop it into the pool of fat that's just drained off it.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer:  Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday November 30 2006

Time: 11:11AM


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