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Healy seen as poor value for money.

Byline: Stuart Rayner

HAVING missed out on him twice already, Hartlepool United have passed up the chance to try for a third time to sign former Sunderland midfielder Colin Healy. Chris Turner has a host of Irish players at Victoria Park and this time last year was hoping to add Healy to his collection.

The 30-year-old opted instead for Ipswich Town when he left stricken Cork City. The move has not worked out for the former Republic of Ireland international, who played just five times for the Tractor Boys in the first half of last season.

Turner made a second attempt to land Healy in the January transfer market but ended up signing his former Cork midfield partner Joe Gamble instead. Healy was loaned to Scottish Premier League side Falkirk, where he made 19 appearances, scoring once.

Hartlepool are again in the market for midfielders and Ipswich are keen to sell. But having monitored Healy's progress closely last season via his scouting network, Turner has decided Healy does not represent value for money, so when approached by the player's agent, he declined to make a bid.

That Ipswich want to offload Healy is in part because of his generous wages.

If a Championship club finds them excessive, it is hard to imagine the club with the lowest gates in League One last season's coming to an affordable arrangement, a conclusion they appear to have reached.

"The owner (Marcus Evans) is putting me under pressure to get players out before we can bring players in," explained Ipswich chief executive Simon Clegg. "Although it is all quiet at the moment, once clubs are back in action again players will start moving and there will be a snowball effect. I'm confident I can do as the owner wants."

Healy spent three years at the Stadium of Light after joining from Celtic, he broke his leg twice while a Sunderland player.

Denis Behan and Colin Larkin are both former League of Ireland players, as was striker Roy O'Donovan, who spent the end of last season on loan at Victoria Park from North East neighbours Sunderland.

Hartlepool need new midfielders after releasing Ritchie Jones, Alan Power and Jonny Rowell at the end of last season.

It leaves them with only Gamble, Antony Sweeney and Ritchie Humphreys who play in the heart of midfield.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jun 8, 2010
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