POLL: Is it time for Ipswich Town to part company with Jimmy Bullard?
JIMMY Bullard’s career at Ipswich Town is set to be over just nine days before the new Championship season starts.
The club are today keeping tight-lipped about the future of the 33-year-old who has been subject of growing speculation over the last few days after failing to feature in the last three pre-season friendlies.
We understand the playmaker is close to leaving Portman Road, possibly as soon as the weekend, with a loan move or having the final year of his contract paid up among the options.
The writing was on the wall when Bullard – whose last competitive start was in the 4-0 defeat at Burnley last November – was selected for a second string friendly at Braintree Town rather than the first-team match at Cambridge United just 24 hours later.
He then started the 2-0 defeat against Luton Town but his 45 minutes at Kenilworth Road were his last in a Town after Paul Jewell didn’t pick him for subsequent friendlies against Southend, West Ham and Colchester United.
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On Saturday, Town assistant boss Chris Hutchings said the midfielder was out of the equation while Jewell refused to comment on Bullard’s future last night following the 2-1 win over the U’s.
The Blues boss just said: “I spoke with Jimmy and at the moment he’s not in the squad, simple as that. There’s nothing untoward. I don’t see the point of him sitting on the bench and getting 10 or 15 minutes.
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“He wants to play football, he works ever so hard in training every day, but at the moment it is just not happening for him.”
Bullard originally signed for Jewell and Ipswich on loan in January 2011 and his sparkling form earned him the Supporters Player of the Year title – despite only being at the club for three-and-a-half months.
After his contract with Hull City was terminated, Bullard signed a permanent deal at Portman Road – to the delight of the Super Blues.
But he made just 13 starts last season and ended a disappointing campaign with a two-week suspension after turning up late for training following two nights out with Michael Chopra in Newcastle.
Jewell, who has changed his policy towards “young and hungry” players, is expected to speak about Bullard to the press at tomorrow’s club open day with the midfielder unlikely to feature in the official squad photo.
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