Ambrose could return to Town

DARREN Ambrose could be on his way back to Portman Road, writes Derek Davis.The former Ipswich Town star is among the list of players Joe Royle would love to bring in to strengthen his midfield.

DARREN Ambrose could be on his way back to Portman Road, writes Derek Davis.

The former Ipswich Town star is among the list of players Joe Royle would love to bring in to strengthen his midfield.

Ambrose, who has been suffering from shin splints, was watched by Town staff as he scored for Newcastle United reserves in their 2-1 defeat against Aston Villa at Kingston Park last night.

Although no formal approach has been made to the Tyneside club as yet, I understand the move would satisfy all three parties.

Sir Bobby Robson would have no objection to the 19-year-old returning to the Blues to further his education, after failing to utilise him this season.

Ambrose has made just one appearance for Newcastle since joining them last March and would relish the opportunity of first-team action with his old club.

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His only senior game for the Magpies was last May, when he went on as a substitute against West Bromwich Albion. Ironically his first game back for Town would be against the Baggies on Saturday, September 13, if everything goes ahead.

West Ham are also believed to be keen on taking the England Under-21 midfielder but there is little doubt Ambrose would prefer Ipswich.

The stumbling block could be his wages, which rose dramatically when he moved to St James' Park, and concerns over his long-term fitness.

While Royle would probably love to get the crowd favourite back to bolster his side and renew his partnership with Darren Bent, he would have to use the money made available to him shrewdly, and could opt for two other midfield players.

Although Marcus Bent's loan move to Leicester City allows Royle to bring players in, it is not a bottomless pit and Royle knows this is a crucial time.

Ambrose scored 11 goals in 38 appearances for Town after making his Blues debut as a substitute against Arsenal in the Premiership.

Although he has been included in Premiership and Champions' League squads he has not been able to force his way into the Newcastle side, despite their current dip in form.

Their exit from the Champions' League to Partizan Belgrade last week after a penalty shoot-out has forced the club to take stock of their finances and would be another reason to allow Ambrose out on loan.

The Harlow-born midfielder rose through the ranks at Ipswich where he first started as a 10-year-old. He still has a house in Ipswich and is a constant visitor to the many friends he has in the area and recently visited the training ground to watch the reserves beat Southampton 2-0.

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