Delaney: I could not be happier to be staying with Ipswich

DAMIEN Delaney finally put pen to paper on a new Ipswich Town contract yesterday afternoon at 4.25pm and immediately confirmed that he could not be happier.

The central defender has his sights set on making it a memorable week by helping the Blues beat Norwich City in an eagerly awaited Championship derby at Portman Road tomorrow night.

He admits that negotiations along with those involving Gareth McAuley and David Norris, who are still in discussions, dragged on too long.

And he revealed that he could have earned more money if he had moved on a free transfer and become party to any personal payment in lieu of a transfer fee.

He stressed: “All that is behind me now and I’m just looking ahead to helping Ipswich Town have what I anticipate will be a successful 2011/12 season.

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“I couldn’t be happier.”

Delaney, who has signed a two-year deal with options to add an extra year, is hopeful that his central defensive partner McAuley will follow suit shortly.

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“Gareth wants to stay and the club wants him to stay,” added Delaney, who is 29 and won his way back into the Republic of Ireland team last month.

“There is common ground and I hope that he stays with David in exactly the same situation.

“The grass might possibly be greener elsewhere and I could probably have got more money although not life changing amounts.

“But it’s about being happy, and I’ve always said that I wanted to stay with Ipswich the only club to put an offer on the table.

“They said they wanted to keep me and we were never that far apart although these contracts are complex and there is more to them than meets the eye.

“If I had moved on I would always have been looking over my shoulder at what was happening at Portman Road.

“Things did drag on a bit, but I’m not going to put blame at anybody’s door.

“You can look at the previous regime, the current regime and me.

“It did take time but we got there in the end.”

Last week’s comments by chief executive Simon Clegg that the club would not be held to ransom by players looking to extend their contracts has members of manager Paul Jewell’s squad fuming.

“I’ve had a lot worse said about me than that,” explained Delaney.

“But there were times when I thought a deal might not get done, and I’ve had a lot of talks with the manager.

“I’ve had the odd sleepless night and things have happened on the day of games.

“There is a danger it could play on your mind on the field, but I did not let it get to me.

“It is all part and parcel of being involved in football.

“I always go with my gut feeling and I’m comfortable with two years and the option for a third season.”

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