Family man Danny Collins looks unlikely to return to Ipswich Town

IPSWICH Town manager Paul Jewell admits it is looking unlikely that Danny Collins will return to the club.

The 31-year-old centre-back saw his loan spell from Stoke City expire following the Blues’ 1-0 home win over Derby earlier this month.

He scored three goals during an impressive 16-game spell for the Suffolk club, with Jewell stating that he would like to sign the Welsh international on a permanent basis come the January transfer window.

However, while Collins wants to leave Stoke, he is looking to find a club nearer the Midlands so that he is not apart from his wife and newborn son.

“We haven’t had a lot of encouragement,” said Jewell.

“Danny is in a situation where he’s just become a father so understandably he wants something better geographically.

“I spoke to him before he left and thanked him, told him we’d like to bring him here, but he gave me the impression that he’s looking for something else.

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“I don’t think it’s anything to do with us as a club, it’s just he wants to be nearer his family.

“That could change, but he still has over a year left on a Premier League contract and I’ve just got the impression that it might be more difficult than I first thought.”

Jewell expects to be given money by owner Marcus Evans to spend on permanent additions in the January transfer window.

And one player he hasn’t yet given up on is Keith Andrews.

The Irishman looks to have played the last game of his half-season loan spell from Blackburn after tearing his hamstring in the 1-1 draw at Leicester on Boxing Day. Having scored nine goals and captained the side for a spell, Jewell understandably wants to sign the wantaway midfielder.

However, first he needs to establish how much the player’s Premier League employers want for his signature.

“It’s not easy speaking to Blackburn, but the agent assures me that ‘he thinks’ he can be a free,” said Jewell.

“That’s what we need to establish before anything can move on.

“Keith has told me again that he doesn’t want to be a squad player; he doesn’t want to go to the Premier League and not play.

“He’s 31, he’s got the European Championships coming up in the summer and he needs to be playing.

“We’d like to keep him here, but at the end of the day he’s got to do what’s right for Keith Andrews both personally and professionally. I fully understand that.”

– See tomorrow’s EADT and Evening Star for full match preview of Reading v Ipswich.