Closing in on Coppinger

IPSWICH Town manager Paul Jewell’s quest for a wide-man, to provide the ammunition for new striker Michael Chopra, could see him finally land James Coppinger.

IPSWICH Town manager Paul Jewell’s quest for a wide-man, to provide the ammunition for new striker Michael Chopra, could see him finally land James Coppinger.

Town are reported to have upped their bid to sign Coppinger, who has been a key man in Doncaster Rovers’ survival in the Championship in recent seasons.

The Portman Road club made a combined offer of �2.6million to sign the Rovers duo of Billy Sharp (�2.3m) and Coppinger (�300,000) last month.

Since then, Jewell has bagged goal-poacher Chopra, a very similar striker to Sharp, but he remains keen on wide-midfielder Coppinger. That’s why Town are believed to have increased their offer from �300,000 to at least �400,000 for 30-year-old Coppinger.


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Jewell’s aim is to operate a 4-4-2 formation for much of next season, which would put the emphasis on effective wide men to complement a dual strike-force.

Meanwhile, if Town’s No. 1 keeper Marton Fulop does leave Portman Road this summer – the Hungarian international has been linked with a move to Turkish club Bursaspor – then Jewell could line up Chris Kirkland as an able replacement.

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Jewell originally signed Kirkland from Liverpool, when the manager of Wigan in 2006, so he is very familiar with the qualities of the 30-year-old keeper, who was out of favour at the Latics last season.

The Town boss wants to sign five or six new players before the start of next season, in addition to recent recruits Chopra and Ivar Ingirmarsson.That has prompted a good deal of speculation about other potential Town targets.

These include former Wigan striker Nathan Ellington, Preston centre-half Sean St Ledger, Reading front-man Noel Hunt, Preston winger Keith Treacy and ex-Portsmouth midfielder Michael Brown (a free agent), among others!

Connor Wickham was again an unused substitute as England U-21s crashed out of the European Championships in dramatic fashion last night. Stuart Pearce’s side lost 2-1 to the Czech Republic despite taking a second-half lead through Danny Welbeck.

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