Is Carlisle set for a Cobblers return?

SIXFIELDS RETURN? - Clarke Carlisle
SIXFIELDS RETURN? - Clarke Carlisle

THE Cobblers have not conceded defeat in their bid to sign former loanee Clarke Carlisle permanently, with rumours circulating this week that the two parties are close to agreeing a two-year deal.

Manager Aidy Boothroyd admitted there remains a ‘chance’ that the centre-back, who was a huge success on a temporary basis at Sixfields last year and remains without a club following his release by Preston North End, could return to Town.

Boothroyd has just two central defenders – Kelvin Langmead and Anthony Charles – under contract for next season and has made no secret of the fact he would like to bring in a third.

Talks are ongoing with a league two club about taking a player on a season-long loan deal but the bid to bring in Carlisle remains in progress.

The 32-year-old, who is also the chairman of the Professional Footballers’ Association, played every minute he was available last season after joining on loan, captaining the side throughout.

When asked if it was possible Carlisle could be coming back to Northampton, Boothroyd said: “There is a chance, yes, but you have to treat every individual as a separate case.

“There are a lot of different variables with Clarke and that’s why there haven’t been any ultimatums or anything like that.

“As we’ve gone on, things will evolve naturally and different things might pop up and mean we go in a different direction.

“I think we do need to add another centre-half and I haven’t shied away from that fact.

“The two centre-halves we’ve got are very good but if you’re going to start a campaign as robust as league two is then you need three to be competing for places.”