KEITH Curle could make midfielder Luke Joyce one of his first summer signings.

The pair worked together at Carlisle United, where Joyce reached 450 career appearances at the age of just 30.

Now 33, the former Accrington Stanley captain is a free agent after leaving Port Vale at the end of his two-year contract.

Joyce was one of Curle’s first signings when he took charge of Carlisle, instigating his surprise exit from Accrington where he was a popular figure.

And with Curle venturing into his first transfer window at Boundary Park there could be a reunion on the cards, The Oldham Times understanding initial contact has been made.

Hailing from neighbouring Bolton, Joyce would certainly fit the mould of the type of player and character that Curle is looking for in building a squad that can challenge higher up League Two after a disappointing 18th-placed finish last time around.

Now closing in on 600 career appearances, Joyce believes he still has plenty to offer despite being one of 15 players let go by Vale, who yesterday signed former Latics loanee Ben Garrity for an undisclosed fee from Blackpool.

“I have got full belief in myself,” he told the Stoke Sentinel last month. “I know I can still play League Two football. I have shown that last year.

“I have seen a couple of stats released lately – I think joint-second in winning the ball back in the opponent’s half and in the top five of picking up second balls. So, they are always good stats to have.

“My playing history is good and injury history is very good in terms of being available for games and training. So, all that goes in my favour.

“I will just be patient, it is still really early days. I have had a bit of contact already but it is just finding what is right for me but also what is right for my family at this point in my career.”

Having signed a two-year contract to turn his short-term stay into a longer one, Curle is now tasked with moulding a squad that can be in the right half of the table.

The Latics boss currently has 11 senior players on the books with top scorer Conor McAleny’s future still unclear.