Best of both worlds for Town

IPSWICH Town will get the best of both worlds today when Darren Ambrose's move to Newcastle United is officially completed and he returns to play for the Blues for the rest of the season.

IPSWICH Town will get the best of both worlds today when Darren Ambrose's move to Newcastle United is officially completed and he returns to play for the Blues for the rest of the season.

Ambrose last night agreed personal terms with the St James' Park club who yesterday announced record operating profits of more than £20m for the last six-month period.

Ipswich have sought permission from the Football League and the Premier League for Ambrose to sign for Newcastle but be loaned back and are hopeful that it will be given later today. So the 19-year-old is set to join former Ipswich Town colleagues Kieron Dyer and Titus Bramble at Sir Bobby Robson's Newcastle in June.

Despite reports to the contrary, Ipswich Town will receive almost £2m for Ambrose, rising depending on appearances and international call-ups. As Newcastle United are run by a plc they have to announce transfer figures to the stock exchange and this is expected some time this morning.

Ambrose, who has been with Ipswich since he joined as a 10-year-old was last night delighted to know he will be on hand to help the Blues reach the play-offs.

Blues boss Joe Royle was last night pleased to get his star midfielder back for the final seven games of the regular season – and hopefully three play-off matches.

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He said: "I'm delighted for the lad, Newcastle are a great club and I'm sure he will go on to do well there. But I'm pleased we have him back and I believe we will see the best of him now.

"His form dipped slightly of late with all the conjecture and his injury but now he can play without any worries and we will see him back to his creative best."

Hermann Hreidarsson spent last night mulling over a move to Pompey after holding talks with officials from the Division One leaders in London during the early evening.

If Hreidarsson agrees the personal terms he will sign later today or Wednesday morning on completion of a medical, although he will not be fit to play for another couple of weeks after suffering a nasty gash against Stoke more than a fortnight ago.

It is a difficult choice for the loyal Icelander who turned down a move to West Brom and it will be a tough wrench for him and his family who are settled and enjoy life in East Anglia.

The total deal for Hreidarsson's move could eventually reach almost £1.5m but Town will only receive £500,000 up front.

The deal was complicated further by which club pays the money deferred from Hreidarsson's salary in September and again in February and due to be repaid in July.

The Icelander will not need to take a pay-cut as Pompey will have saved considerably on transfer fees. Bonuses will be paid to Town and the player once Pompey go up and if they survive their first season in the Premiership.

Hreidarsson was a club record £4.5m signing from Wimbledon and Ipswich reluctantly accepted a £3.3m bid from West Bromwich for him last August but he turned down the move.

Harry Redknapp has been employing a policy of free or vastly reduced signings and being prudent with wages but with Hreidarsson still having two years on his contract at the end of this season he knows he is still in a strong bargaining position.

Royle added: "We have been robbed by both clubs really but we have had to do the best for Ipswich Town in the circumstances."

There have been no bids for any other Ipswich players and none are expected before Thursday's transfer deadline.

Both sales will considerably help Ipswich Town who are in administration and, coupled with significant savings made throughout the season, will reduce their overall debt and most notably reduce the wage bill which was nearly £24m in the last financial year, to more than half that now.

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