By Stuart Watson
Monday, December 31, 2012
RED-HOT Ipswich Town loanee DJ Campbell will return to parent club Queens park rangers following tomorrow’s visit of Brighton – but Blues boss Mick McCarthy is still hopeful that the striker can be secured on a permanent deal during the Jnauary transfer window.
The 31-year-old has scored 10 goals in 16 games to help propel Town up the Championship table and has previously said that he would welcome a permanent move away from his parent club at the start of the New Year.
Despite growing up as a supporter at Loftus Road, the Londoner’s dream move to the Hoops turned sour when – following a string of injuries – manager mark Hughes made him train with the reserves and didn’t hand him a place in his 25-man squad for the first half of the campaign.
Harry Redknapp has since taken over at QPR though and decided to recall Campbell at the end of his loan spell (December 5) to supplement his severely injury-hot front line.
“I spoke to Harry this morning,” said McCarthy. “He will go back, this (Brighton at home tomorrow) will be his last game because, whether or not we’d have permission to play him in the FA Cup (at Aston Villa on Saturday) I wasn’t going to play him anyway.
“He’ll go back and we’ll see what happens after that. I think Harry, in his position, will justifiably want to have a look at him. It was always the case that he was going to go back.
“We are trying to do a deal to keep him and hopefully we can. Fingers crossed, we’ll see.”
He continued; “We’re speaking to his agent, I’ve spoken to DJ and we’ve offered him permanent deal effectively. There’s a permanent deal there for him if that’s what he wants to do.
“I haven’t spoken about terms, that’s down to Marcus (Evans) and Simon (Clegg) to do that. I will advise and prompt and probe and suggest we do things, but to what level is down to them. I think we are capable of getting a deal with him though, I hope so anyway.
“DJ wants to stay. I guess he wouldn’t want to be playing for QPR because he’s not been playing and the way things were for him there. I’ve never asked him that question, but maybe if he went back and Harry stuck him in the team and he played well then he’d want to stay there. Why wouldn’t he, playing in the Premier League?
“He loves it here though and I think he’d be happy to stay provided we can do a deal with his agent and QPR. There’s a lot there to be dealt with.
“I’m conscious that we can’t leave things too late in the window. I am actively looking and speaking to people about other players.”
– For all the latest Blues news, see tomorrow’s EADT and Ipswich Star.