Blues prepare Sharp bid

IPSWICH Town manager Paul Jewell has confirmed that he will reignite his attempts sign Doncaster Rovers striker Billy Sharp in the January transfer window.

The 25-year-old hailed the Blues fans for the heart-warming reception shown to him following his goal at Portman Road on Saturday – the home support putting aside their disappointment during a hugely disappointing 3-2 defeat to applaud a player whose newborn son had died just seven days earlier.

Jewell has now revealed that the Sheffield-born striker had been keen on a move to Suffolk back in May when a �2.3m bid for him – and midfielder James Coppinger – was rejected.

Southampton later had a �3.25m offer for Sharp alone accepted, but the striker turned down that move.

With Rovers boss Dean Saunders admitting at the weekend that his rock-bottom club would have to listen to ‘ridiculous’ offers for his talisman, it now appears at though Jewell and Saints counterpart Nigel Adkins will go head-to-head for his signature at the start of the New Year.

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“Doncaster will have to accept an offer (in January) because Billy Sharp has got a clause in his contract,” revealed Jewell. “If a club meets that valuation, they have to give him permission to speak.

“We’d like to have him here. There’s no hiding from the fact we tried to get him in the summer because he’s a quality Championship player – he might even be Premier League standard.”

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Asked if will be speaking to owner Marcus Evans about tabling a new bid, Jewell said: “I think anyone who knows me will know that conversation has already taken place. We don’t really want to do things in the public domain though, we want to do things as quietly and discreetly as possible.

“There’s obviously been some interest from Southampton who look as though they’re going to be in the Premiership next season so we’re going to be battling with that.

“I know Billy was interested in coming here in the summer though so we’ll see what happens.”

Ipswich chief executive Simon Clegg yesterday received a letter from his Doncaster counterpart Dave Morris which read: “I would like to say how much we appreciate your magnificent fans and the way they responded to our team, and in particular Billy Sharp.

“Their behaviour and attitude was an absolute credit to football and to your club.”

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