Ipswich Town appear to cool interest in Bilel Mohsni as Paul Jewell runs rule over second trialist defender

PAUL Jewell will this week run the rule over a second trialist defender after apparently distancing himself from a move for controversial Frenchman Bilel Mohsni.

The Southend United centre-back, who is equally adept upfront, spent last week on trial and scored for Town’s development squad in their 6-0 win over Cardiff on Friday.

But despite the Shrimpers being happy to sanction a move for Mohsni and his wage demands not posing a problem, we understand Jewell is ready to pull the plug on any loan deal.

Instead, the Blues’ boss is using the extended international break to take a close look at a second trialist defender who is set to spend the week training with the first-team squad.

The club yesterday declined to reveal the identity of the player as Jewell continues to search for free transfers in addition to potential loan signings after the ‘emergency’ window opened on Saturday.

With Tommy Smith playing in New Zealand this morning British time, Luke Chambers is currently the only recognised centre-back in training.

Given the nature of the 93-day loan window, no new signings would be confirmed until the end of this week, but the club were yesterday keeping tight-lipped over whether there would be any new faces ahead of Saturday’s trip to Middlesbrough.

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Matthew Upson remains linked with Ipswich, despite being named in Stoke City’s 25-man Premier League squad, but team-mate Danny Higgingbotham, who has not been included by manager Tony Pulis, is not currently on the radar.

While new defenders remain at the top of the priority list, one name who refuses to go away is left-footed attacker George Boyd.

Jewell declined to comment on whether the Peterborough man would be signing for Town on loan this week but Posh boss Darren Ferguson has confirmed he expects his prized asset to be leaving.

Boyd, 26, turned down a move to the Blues at the end of the summer transfer window after failing to agree personal terms.

But Ferguson said: “We want to keep our best players, but if they don’t want to, we will move them on accordingly.”