Blues battling with red tape

EXCLUSIVEIPSWICH Town are batting bureaucracy to try to sign two new players after being knocked back in the loan market.Red tape has hindered the Blues' attempts to bring in Sandro Grande, who has been released by Canadian club Montreal Impact, and Jaime Peters, the 17-year-old wing sensation, who Chelsea and Manchester United are also keen on.

EXCLUSIVE

IPSWICH Town are batting bureaucracy to try to sign two new players after being knocked back in the loan market.

Red tape has hindered the Blues' attempts to bring in Sandro Grande, who has been released by Canadian club Montreal Impact, and Jaime Peters, the 17-year-old wing sensation, who Chelsea and Manchester United are also keen on.

Blues chairman David Sheepshanks last night confirmed former Brescia midfielder Grande had impressed enough during his 10-day trial period to be offered a contract, but will not be able to actually play competitively until the January window opens.


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Although the Canadian season has finished, with Grande helping Montreal Impact to the A League championship, and the midfielder has been released by the club and so is effectively an unemployed free agent, the FA argue he still cannot be signed outside the window.

Sheepshanks said: “We are in discussion with the FA over the actual wording of the regulations regarding players who have been released from their contract, such as Sandro has by Montreal Impact.”

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The situation regarding Peters is also complicated by FIFA regulations.

Peters, a full Canadian international, has also been offered a contract by Town and it is understood Chelsea, Manchester United, Millwall and Derby County all offered him terms after he had trials at their clubs.

Even though he was with Kaiserslautern last season, Peters does not hold an EU passport. As he is only 17 he is also not eligible for a working holiday-maker visa and so cannot play for any club until next May when he turns 18.

The irony is that if Peters were from Europe he would be eligible for a permit to play.

Town are hopeful that Peters will choose Ipswich above the others, especially after a supporters' petition with almost 1,200 names was sent to him. Peters has also been advised by Jason De Vos and the Canadian manager, former Town star Frank Yallop, that the Blues offer him the best way forward.

Although nothing has yet been arranged, it is possible that Peters will be allowed to train with the Blues Academy players in the New Year.

Sheepshanks said: “The FA's interpretation of the rule appears to be that he would not be able to play until May 4 when he turns 18. But we are still working on it.

“We have noted the enthusiasm of the fans with the petition and we are very pleased to see the supporters making such an effort to persuade Jaime to come to Ipswich. That is also something we have spent a considerable amount of time and effort to make happen anyway.”

Meanwhile, although Town are determined not to upset the enormous enthusiasm and togetherness engendered among the small, but happy, first-team squad at the moment, reinforcements are being sought.

Blues boss Joe Royle was trying to bring back Matt Elliott and James Scowcroft on loan but new Leicester City boss Craig Levein has blocked the most recent approach for the striker.

The EADT revealed on Monday that Royle was making another attempt to land Scowcroft, but has been told he has no chance.

Levein said: “We have had an approach by Ipswich to take James Scowcroft on loan but the answer was no. James is very much part of our plans.”

An injury to the City club captain thwarted Royle's attempts to land Elliott earlier in the season and he is now also looking to impress under the new Foxes boss.

Royle has tried to be selective in who he tries to bring in but has not had much luck so far.

After previously denying any interest in Dean Richards, Royle has now admitted he did try to sign him on loan from Spurs.

The defender was out with an ear problem, which affected his balance, but Royle now claims he would try again if the Blues defensive injuries worsened.

Royle has also confirmed he was keen on Middlesbrough left-midfielder Stewart Downing at the beginning of the season but he is very much part of Steve McClaren's plans and is on the verge of a full England call-up.

Royle had earlier denied interest in Southampton defender Chris Baird, although his agent confirmed there had been an enquiry from Ipswich.

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