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Keane hands Ipswich exits to four Irish

ROY KEANE has told four of his Irish players that they are free to leave Ipswich Town.

The Tractor Boys reported back for pre-season training this week but Keane has acted quickly to prepare his squad for the new season, with eight senior players placed on the transfer list, including former internationals Alex Bruce, Alan Quinn, Colin Healy and U21 captain Owen Garvan.

Keane is also set to axe one of the biggest flops in his squad as Lee Martin, a £1.6m signing from Manchester United, is also available for transfer, as Keane has to sell players before he can add to his squad. "I am under pressure from the owner to sell," said club CEO Simon Clegg.

Northampton sign up Purcell

LEAGUE TWO club Northampton Town have snapped up Irish striker Tadhg Purcell from relegated Darlington.

Dubliner Purcell was a big hit with Darlington last season after he was signed from Shamrock Rovers by Steve Staunton, the 25-year-old finishing the season as the club's top scorer with nine goals even though he was only at the club for half a season. Darlington, relegated to the Conference, wanted to keep Purcell on board but he rejected the offer of a new deal and is now off to Northampton. "There was a lot of interest in Tadhg so I am pleased we got him," said Cobblers manager Ian Sampson.

Galway admit to cash crisis

A LEAGUE of Ireland season would not be complete without a cash crisis and now, 18 games into the 2010 season, Galway United are the first club to come out and admit their difficulties.

Galway have asked their players to defer their wages for a week in a bid to help the club through their financial crisis, and club CEO Nick Leeson today stated that the players have agreed to the deferral.

By deferring wages for this week, when Galway are away to St Pats, the club hope to get some breathing space before their next home game, against Bray Wanderers next Monday.

"Gates have been far worse than anticipated this season and if we continue as we are, the future of the club would be put at risk," warned Leeson.

United could now struggle to keep their top players at the club. Midfielder Stephen O'Donnell is wanted by Shamrock Rovers while strikers Anto Flood and Karl Sheppard have also been targeted by other clubs.