Crewe boss denies Ipswich bid for Powell – EADT and Star understands otherwise

CREWE manager Steve Davis has denied that Ipswich have been in contact over highly-rated attacker Nick Powell.

However, the EADT and Evening Star understands that the 17-year-old IS the mystery teenager Paul Jewell has put in a bid for.

The Blues boss revealed at the weekend that he had lodged bids for three players, confirming that two were 24 or younger and from the same club, while the third was a teenager.

The EADT and Star revealed yesterday that the same-club duo were Portsmouth’s Jason Pearce and Joel Ward, while a club insider has told us that the other is Powell.

The latter – part of the England Under-17 squad at the World Cup in Mexico last summer – made his Crewe debut at 16 and has been a regular for the League Two club this season, scoring six goals.

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Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea scouts have reportedly been monitoring the attacking midfielder/striker’s progress, but Davis insists he has had no contact over the player – despite the EADT and Star receiving information to the contrary.

Asked of Ipswich’s interest, Davis said: “It’s the first I’ve heard of it. My phone is always on and no one has been in contact with me. There have been no enquiries never mind offers.

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“I’m in close contact with the chairman. We speak every day and no one has been in touch with the club to ask about Nick.”

Davis, who has previously admitted financial pressures at the club could force his hand over sales during this month’s transfer window, added: “I’ve not been thinking much about Nick interesting other clubs, I’ve been busy preparing the team for the games we have ahead.

“It was the same myself when I was a player and you would hear rumours linking you with another club. More often than not, nothing happened.

“I can’t be sidetracked by speculation. There is always so much about in the papers but not a lot of it comes to fruition.”

Meanwhile, the EADT and Evening Star understands that Ipswich’s combined bid for centre-back Pearce, 24, and versatile midfielder Joel Ward, 22, has been rejected by Portsmouth.

We understand that the Blues have tested the water with a low-level �1m offer which has been dismissed out of hand and are now preparing an improved offer.

Pompey are currently in the middle of a takeover deal, with prospective new owner Joseph Cala having indicated that he may have to reduce the club’s wage bill.

In addition, Jewell’s attempts to sign defender Sean St Ledger from Leicester appear to be fading.

Town had agreed a fee for the 27-year-old centre-back last week, but Foxes boss Nigel Pearson – having transfer listed the player following a Boxing Day row over selection – has had to put the move on hold.

With Sol Bamba and John Paintsil both away at the African Cup of Nations, he was forced to play St Ledger in Tuesday night’s 4-0 home win over Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup.

And with Leicester’s move for Hull’s Jack Chester having been firmly rebuffed, they may yet decide to keep hold of their Republic of Ireland international.

– Blues boss Paul Jewell is set to speak to the press at 12.15pm today. For all the latest from Portman Road, keep an eye on this website.

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