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Tuesday, 22 July 2014

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Ex-Premier League ace back in frame for Carlisle Utd

Former Premier League player Stuart Parnaby has made contact with Carlisle United and indicated he could be ready to join the Blues.

Stuart Parnaby photo
Stuart Parnaby. Photo: Tim Easthope

The ex-Middlesbrough and Birmingham defender telephoned manager Greg Abbott directly to say he is ready to relaunch his career.

United are keen to run the rule over the 29-year-old in pre-season and Abbott now expects to hold more talks with Parnaby.

Abbott would not reveal whether a deal was being discussed for Parnaby at this stage but admitted to The Cumberland News that he was now hopeful the versatile player would come to Brunton Park.

“I have had a phone call from Stuart, which is fantastic,” Abbott said. “I’m optimistic there might be something in that one.

“He seems a lot keener in his own mind to have another go at his football and hopefully I might have some news soon.”

The Cumberland News first revealed United’s interest in Parnaby in March, after the four-cap England Under-21 international spent a short spell training at Brunton Park.

He then left Carlisle and tried unsuccessfully to win a deal with Championship side Hull City, as Abbott admitted money was too tight to keep him at United.

Parnaby, who has not played first-team football since leaving Birmingham last summer, took a break from the game but now looks prepared to consider Carlisle as a place where he could rebuild his career.

“I’m expecting another call from Stuart,” added the Blues boss. “We will talk and see what he’s looking for.

“The key is to get him back on the training field and then take things further. I don’t think there’s any rush to make statements of where he is and what he would be offered.”

The possible boost of Parnaby’s arrival comes as United prepare to lose another first-team star, with JP McGovern set to seal a shock departure from Brunton Park.

The Scottish winger, who has a year left on his deal, has been given permission to speak to League Two club Rotherham and is also attracting attention from north of the border.

Carlisle have not confirmed or denied the possible move but Millers boss Steve Evans has claimed he is in advanced talks with a League One winger who has a year left on his contract.

And it is understood that 31-year-old McGovern – who played 50 games last season – is ready to move on from Carlisle after just 12 months with the Cumbrians.

The surprise move follows the news that Tom Taiwo and Lubo Michalik have joined Francois Zoko in rejecting new contracts.

Taiwo this week claimed he no longer wished to commute to Carlisle from his Leeds home after recently becoming a father and will now look for a club closer to Yorkshire.

Abbott, though, expects James Berrett, Frank Simek and Peter Murphy to sign new terms when the remaining three out-of-contract players return from their holidays.

The United boss said new deals for the trio are “99 per cent certain”, while another prospective new signing is set to have a medical at the club later this month.

Abbott is currently on holiday but is confident of soon making a second addition to join former Notts County defender Mike Edwards, who signed a two-year deal with the Blues this week.

Carlisle United are allowing season ticket holders to watch their first game of the 2012/13 season for free when the new campaign starts on a Tuesday night.

United’s opening match of the season will be a home clash with Accrington Stanley in the first round of the Capital One Cup.

The game in the newly-sponsored League Cup is set to be played on Tuesday, August 14, four days before the league campaign gets under way.

The Cumbrians are honouring an offer made to season ticket holders which gives them free entry for the first round games of both the Capital One Cup and Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.

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