Deadline-day deals are kept to a minimum

IPSWICH Town will complete the opening half of the Championship season with one of the division’s largest wage bills following an anti-climatic transfer deadline day at Portman Road.

Having brought in high earners such as Jimmy Bullard, Lee Bowyer and Michael Chopra over the summer, the Blues were expected to sell one or two fringe players yesterday.

There were no permanent outgoings, though, as Blackpool fell well short of the club’s valuation of striker Jason Scotland – Town swiftly rejecting a bid of just under �350,000 we understand – while Portsmouth failed to bid again for midfield captain Grant Leadbitter having had an offer turned down earlier this month.

We understand that Town manager Paul Jewell would have been willing to sell both players at the right price, with Scotland deemed too expensive to carry as a squad player – despite his excellent cameo appearance against Leeds at the weekend – and Leadbitter is in the final year of his contract.

It means Ipswich will operate until January at least with almost 30 senior professionals on their books.

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Town also failed to sign any new players yesterday with teenage midfielder Jamie Griffiths’s one-month loan switch to League Two side Plymouth the only movement either way.

Jewell revealed earlier in the week that he is targeting at least three more players on top of the 11 he has already signed this summer, with a right-back, centre-back, keeper and possibly even a winger all still on his shopping list.

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He will now have to wait until the emergency transfer window opens next Thursday before he can go back to some of the Premier League clubs he has already approached about players though. Enquiries are believed to have been made about Stoke defenders Ryan Shotton and Danny Collins, while Jewell has tentatively asked Sunderland about the prospect of bringing striker Connor Wickham back on loan.

West Brom centre-back Pablo Ibanez and Everton’s Shane Duffy had been linked but they joined Birmingham and Scunthorpe respectively yesterday.

Any temporary signings can only be made for a maximum of 93 days, with the loan window closing on November 25 and the permanent transfer window opening again for a month at the start of January.

Football League clubs can name a maximum of five domestic loan players in their 16-man matchday squads. Just David Stockdale (Fulham) and Keith Andrews (Blackburn) fall in that bracket at present, with Daryl Murphy (Celtic) counting as a foreign loan.

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