Ipswich offload Norwegian Skard

VEMUND Brekke Skard has been released by Ipswich Town with his contract fully paid up.Although the official forms have yet to be signed, the Norwegian has been told he has no future with the Blues although Town will circulate his name to other clubs in a bid to help him continue playing football professionally in England.

By Derek Davis

VEMUND Brekke Skard has been released by Ipswich Town with his contract fully paid up.

Although the official forms have yet to be signed, the Norwegian has been told he has no future with the Blues although Town will circulate his name to other clubs in a bid to help him continue playing football professionally in England.

Skard was told towards the end of last week that he would not be involved and was left out of the squad to play Crystal Palace. More tellingly, his name was omitted from the squad list that appeared in Saturday's official programme

The 24-year-old was signed by Joe Royle after a behind-closed-doors trial game against Spurs, who enquired then about his availability. Red tape held up the move from Brummendal and the cross-country skier needed a hernia operation before the transfer window reopened but he then signed a two-year contract with Ipswich.

The popular trainee teacher, who was plucked from the obscurity of the lower leagues in his native Norway, made just three appearances for Town.

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He made his debut as a substitute at Crystal Palace, started against Watford in the 2-1 loss, and played his last competitive match in the defeat at Plymouth on the last day of the season.

Although Jim Magilton gave him a run-out during pre-season it was decided he would not play a part in Town's Championship campaign.

The Blues continue to search for more players and World Cup defender Ulises de la Cruz was at the training ground yesterday morning but the interest soon faded when his terms proved too steep for Town.

The Aston Villa defender-cum-midfielder, who has made 66 Premiership starts, played all four of Ecuador's games in Germany including the quarter-final defeat by England in which he was booked.

Another trialist is expected tomorrow and Blues boss Magilton is hoping to hear from West Ham and Mark Noble today if the exciting 19-year-old winger will be coming to Portman Road on loan.

It is unlikely Noble will be available for the game at Wolves tonight, with the Town squad travelling up to the Midlands this morning, but it is hoped to link him up with his former Hammers team-mate Gavin Williams for the trip to Leicester City on Saturday.

One player expected to travel today is striker Sam Parkin, who the EADT yesterday revealed was the subject of a bid by Coventry City.

Magilton said: “Coventry have made a bid, which we rejected. Sam is still an Ipswich Town player.”

The Sky Blues boss Micky Adams now appears to have gone cold on the deal having had an initial £100,000 bid, followed by a further £100,000 on appearances, rejected by Ipswich.

Adams said: “Sam was one of the players we went for but our offer was rejected. We are not going back to that one and we are now pursuing other things.”

Coventry may switch their attentions to Celtic's utility player Adam Virgo and are also still keen on another big forward.

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