'The fee is not quite at the level I believe he is worth' - Hurst on Waghorn transfer saga
PUBLISHED: 19:13 28 July 2018 | UPDATED: 21:02 28 July 2018
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Ipswich Town manager Paul Hurst says he genuinely couldn't say whether Martyn Waghorn will still be at the club come next Saturday's Championship opener against Blackburn Rovers at Portman Road.
Last season’s 16-goal topscorer was, for the second game running, an unused substitute in this afternoon’s 2-1 home friendly defeat to West Ham amidst strong interest from Championship rivals Derby County and Middlesbrough.
Boro are reportedly on the verge of selling Patrick Bamford to Leeds for £7m and that could free Tony Pulis up to make a move for Waghorn.
“What I can say is that, as far as I’m aware, the interest is still very much there,” said Hurst.
“That’s why he didn’t make it onto the pitch today. I just felt it was in everyone’s interest – the player, ourselves – that he wasn’t out on the pitch and risking injury.
“It’s not, as I said the other day, an ideal situation. But this is not the first time this has ever happened to a player and a club and a manager. Hopefully it can be resolved so we can put it to bed one way or another. That’s what everyone would prefer. It’s very much let’s see what happens in the next week going into the Blackburn game.”
Asked how close the situation was to being resolved, the Blues boss replied: “I’m not sure. That’s genuine. Who knows? If someone decides all of a sudden to come in and bid £20m then I would say it will be resolved quite quickly! A major part of it is the fee. It’s not quite at the level that I believe that he’s worth.”
Quizzed on whether Waghorn would feature for Town against Blackburn next weekend if a move had still not materialised, the window for permanent transfers shutting a few days later on August 9, Hurst replied: “Will he feature? Erm, I’d probably say he would. But the situation might be at a point where we are nearly there. Realistically, if he’s here on Friday, I’d want him to be involved in the game against Blackburn.”
Asked if Waghorn is happy at the club, Hurst said: “I think he is. I’ve had conversations with him and, unfortunately, I’m not willing to share that with you. Those conversations will remain private. Sometimes it’s very easy as press and fans to think there’s an easy solution. Often you don’t quite get the full story.
“All I ask is for people to try and trust myself and the club to do what we feel is right and in everyone’s best interests. It might not be one everyone particularly wants, but sometimes you have to make decisions or make a stance to what you feel is best for Ipswich Town.”
And when asked if he was ready to move quickly on signing a replacement, Hurst said: “I think we’d have to be because what we can’t do is leave ourselves short. I’ve said I feel we need players in anyway and if there was to be another departure then quite clearly that adds to the need to get players in.”
Would a late sale put the prices up for a replacement?
“Everyone has a value,” said Hurst. “I understand what you’re saying, but we have to do what we feel is right. We’ve got to try and not over-pay and also not beheld to ransom. We want to try and do our best for the football club.
“He hasn’t got anywhere yet. It might be that we are trying to sign people anyway.
“With all due respect to ourselves I think everyone knows we are not one of the big hitters or the big spenders. We haven’t got the luxury of the Premiership parachute payments etc.
“So we have to do what’s right for us and conduct our business where we can. A big part of my job is to try and find people that are not on everyone’s radar, people that I feel can step up that other people perhaps think otherwise.”