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Thursday 8 December 2016

Mick eyes up deal for Best

Former Ireland striker Leon Best
Former Ireland striker Leon Best

Former Ireland striker Leon Best has hooked up with Mick McCarthy at Ipswich Town in a bid to win a contract.

Best scored four goals in 16 games for Rotherham United last season and played a role in their successful bid to avoid relegation, but while compatriot Stephen Kelly signed a new deal with the Millers, Best left the club and has been a free agent since May.

The 29-year-old, who was last capped against Brazil in 2010, has now accepted an invitation from McCarthy to train with Ipswich and Best scored in a 3-2 loss for Ipswich's U23 side against Birmingham City yesterday.

Previously out-of-contract Irish players such as Stephen Hunt and Kevin Foley have been given deals by McCarthy at Ipswich of late and Best's agent will this week hold talks with McCarthy to see if a deal is on offer, as McCarthy admits he's keen to add to his squad.

"I'm trying to get a couple more in, they might be loan deals or people who are out of contract," former Ireland boss McCarthy said, his side on a run of four games without a win.

"There's a lot of people spending a lot of money and it all seems to have doubled up. The Premier League football seems to have doubled or trebled, but the players haven't got three times better. And the players that they're buying in the Championship haven't got two or three times better either. We've competed with them in the past and I expect we'll compete with them this year."

Last season, Best said he still hoped to play for his country again. "It has been frustrating and if you look at the players who have been given the chance by Ireland, you have to question if they are better than me, what have they done that I haven't?" he said.

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