Lincoln City weighing up potential permanent move for Blackpool midfielder

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Lincoln City boss Mark Kennedy has admitted the Imps are keen to turn Matty Virtue’s loan move into a permanent one.
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The Blackpool midfielder is currently enjoying a temporary stay at Sincil Bank, having made the move to Lincolnshire at the start of the season.

The 25-year-old, who is currently out injured, is out of contract at the end of the season, albeit the Seasiders do hold an option to extend by 12 months.

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When asked if the Imps would like to turn Virtue’s loan permanent, Kennedy told BBC Radio Lancashire: “We’d like to. We think a lot of Matty.

“We like all of our loan players, but they’re all in different stages of their careers.

“Matty is on a free at the end of the season. He’s enjoyed his time and we’ve loved having him here and if we could continue that relationship, we’d love to.

“I don’t know if Matty will have other options. I don’t want to say better options because we’re a great club but if somebody in the Championship wants a Matty Virtue then clearly that would be more attractive to him.

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Virtue has made 26 appearances for Lincoln, scoring twiceVirtue has made 26 appearances for Lincoln, scoring twice
Virtue has made 26 appearances for Lincoln, scoring twice

“But I’ve no doubts he’s enjoyed his time here and we’re a club he’d be really keen to continue his relationship with.

“I’m guessing, as an ex-player, Matty would want to explore all avenues and rightfully so.

“Wherever he goes, he should do what’s best for him and his family first and foremost.”

The former Liverpool midfielder hasn’t featured for the League One side since suffering a hamstring injury at the start of January.

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But Kennedy has revealed the Blackpool man is closing in on making his return.

“His progress is going really good,” he said.

“He should be back training with us next week, but we just have to be mindful of the injury he’s had. He had a significant hamstring injury.

“He’s not going to be available on Saturday, he won’t be available on Tuesday but he won’t be far off after.

“He’s been a really successful loan for us and it’s not just what he brings on the pitch, but also what he brings off the pitch and around the dressing room.

“He’s a brilliant leader, a brilliant character and a brilliant person. He’s definitely someone we’ve missed although the results have been fantastic.”