Date:Tuesday January 5 2010
Is Ipswich manager Roy Keane the villain or hero in an ongoing pantomime involving ex-Charlton and U`s striker Kevin Lisbie?
Look away now if you were expecting a clear-cut resolution - adjust the channel, switch over. If you can`t handle the bluffing, the vaudeville or the comedy, follow a new sport! Oh yes, it`s that time of year, folks - the silly season, a pantomime playground of tall transfer-market tales and sheer speculation.
The bottom line is from this morning`s press is that Kevin Lisbie stays. Or does he? His current loan deal, after being reclined over the new year, has been extended as Ipswich Town have made a giant U-turn on their original decision to recall the striker.
In mitigation to Colchester and the player himself, although this issue has been driving the supporters crazy, those who matter have kept composed throughout.
The news is that Lisbie`s loan has been extended to the end of the season, but not unconditionally.
He is back training with the U`s today but Ipswich retain the right to sell him, as he is their man, at any point during the current month-long transfer market window.
We might infer from this that reputed rumours of interest from Crystal Palace were merely message-board bunkum - especially given the Eagles` well-documented financial problems.
Does this apparent lack of interest, obviously not materialised in the way Keane appeared to promise, make him a hero or villain? Of course, Colchester may keep Lisbie but the most cynical among us might speculate that apparent interest in him was over-exaggerated.
It does, however, almost certainly prove that Colchester categorically either cannot or will not afford the combined price of his salary and transfer fee at this moment in time, since boss Aidy Boothroyd confirmed all along that the Essex side were officially in-the-market for the former jamacian international.
Perhaps, since he`s staying for now, all else is academic. But there was a telling admission from Lisbie in the interview which Vital Colchester forecasted last night would offer the U`s some respite from the saga.
The rump is that Kevin Lisbie did not train with Ipswich - nor was he invited to - during the short limbo period, a time when Keane appeared to open the door on his Portman Road future, saying he could play for the club again.
Maybe it`s not that surprising, given the 10-goal forward`s repeated insistence that he would never pull on Town`s colours again.
Lisbie, speaking last night, told the EADT in today`s edition: "I think my ties with Ipswich were broken a long time ago. Things are changing day by day, and knowing my life, it could all change again in the next 24 hours."
He added: "I haven't done anything since January 1, but I am back training with Colchester from tomorrow and I hope to be playing for them at Yeovil this weekend, if selected."
So what do you think?
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Date:Tuesday January 5 2010
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