First of ‘unwanted’ Town eight set to leave

IPSWICH TOWN: Alex Bruce could be the first of the ‘unwanted’ eight to leave Portman Road with Sheffield United showing interest in the 25-year-old.

The Blades will be discussing the future of defender Bruce with officials at Portman Road, but with chief executive Simon Clegg away from the club for a while there are unlikely to be any imminent developments.

Along with seven other players, Bruce was made available for transfer by Blues manager Roy Keane having been on loan at Leicester City at the end of last season.

The serious injury to Damien Delaney may affect Town’s view on letting Bruce go at this stage as they are badly in need of experience at the back following the departures of Richard Wright, David Wright and Ben Thatcher over the last six months.

Bruce has a year left on his contract, and after being named captain soon after the start of last season, he has appeared to have dropped down the pecking order in Keane’s thoughts.

This may well mean that he will be leaving Portman Road before the new season starts having been Jim Magilton’s first signing in the summer of 2006 when signed from Birmingham City.

Steve Finnan is a player being linked with a move to Ipswich having played for Portsmouth last season and being available on a free transfer.

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The 34-year-old former Liverpool player will have known Gary Ablett from their Birmingham City playing days and this could turn out to be the link.

Ablett, who was back in Merseyside by the time Finnan was at Anfield, joined Town’s staff as coach last month and sees Finnan as supplying the back line experience that Ipswich so badly needs.

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