Billy Sharp out of Town’s price range claims Jewell

PAUL Jewell has claimed �3 million Championship hitman Billy Sharp is out of the Blues’ price range.

The news that Ipswich can’t afford the price tag – set by Doncaster Rovers this week – will today be a major blow for the supporters who are hoping owner Marcus Evans provides Jewell with a nest-egg going into the January transfer window.

But the manager admitted: “We went for Billy in the summer, but I think at that price he’s definitely out of our price range.

“I might be wrong, but I don’t think there are too many Championship clubs that are going to pay �3 million for a player at this moment in time. I know West Ham paid a lot for Kevin Nolan in the summer, but it’s pretty rare you get such big fees in the Championship.”

Jewell is a known admirer of the 25-year-old, who has scored nine goals in 15 matches for a side that is battling relegation – and following the personal tragedy of Sharp losing his newborn son.

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Doncaster chairman John Ryan this week admitted there was a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ in place that clubs could speak to Sharp if they are willing to pay a �3 million transfer fee.

But while that should spark interest across the whole of the Championship and among some Premier League clubs, Jewell appears to have ruled Ipswich out of making a second bid.

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And he is equally downbeat about Town’s chances of signing another proven forward – Nicky Maynard from Bristol City.

The 25-year-old frontman, who has scored seven goals this season, was yesterday placed on the transfer list after refusing to sign a new contract with the Robins, who will probably now look for a smaller fee rather than risk losing him for nothing.

But despite admitting his side needs pace in all areas, Jewell said: “Maynard is a striker that is proven at this level, but he might be one like Shane Long (the former Reading striker) where a lot of Premier League clubs are interested.

“Let’s be honest, when you’re up against Premiership teams for a player it’s difficult to compete because of the money.”

Jewell said he expected some transfer activity in and out of Portman Road in January – and has refused to give up on either Danny Collins or Keith Andrews.

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