Ipswich to ensure they get a fair price for Wickham
IPSWICH Town manager Paul Jewell has admitted that Connor Wickham could be tempted away in the summer if a ‘silly’ offer comes in from a big Premier League club.
Wickham turned 18 on Thursday and limitations over the length of his contract are no longer in force.
He agreed a one-year extension in January that currently takes him to June 2013, and this is believed to be about to be lengthened with the summer of 2014 the likely new ending date.
Wickham has become the talk of football since he made his Ipswich debut two years ago and top clubs have increasingly been watching his every move.
His new deal will ensure that Ipswich will get a fair price for him for the next two years at least.
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Jewell wants the youngster to stay having played him regularly since he took over from Roy Keane in early January.
“I think it’s best for Connor to stay and get a few goals next season that will help take us to the Premier League,” said Jewell.
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“And I hope that he will.
“But we are at the mercy of the big clubs. If Liverpool or Tottenham come in with silly money that we can plough back into the team we will have to listen.
“It’s difficult for clubs at our level to turn down big offers from top clubs.
“Probably the smaller Premier League teams would not interest Connor too much.
“But for one of the big clubs it would be harder for him to say no.
“We are not actively looking to sell him – and if he goes he won’t go cheaply.”
Jewell feels that he has another teenage forward who has what it takes to reach the very top in Josh Carson, who is 17 and made his senior debut in Town’s last game.
“It’s unfair to compare 6’3” Connor with 5’2” Josh, but they have both got their strengths.
“Josh is a different sort of player but if they both do the right things they can both make a good living out of the game – and hopefully it will be with us.
“Josh can play wide as an attacking midfielder or through the middle up front.
“He is hungry, has two good feet, is a bit cocky and wants to win. He’s a tough little kid.
“And we have a couple more coming through the academy, which is a nice for the club.”
Jewell has not given up hope on keeping skipper David Norris after being told by the player’s agent that it would be best to plan without the midfielder for next season.
“I have since spoken to David, who says he would like to stay and I plan to have a word with his agent again and see if anything can be done.”