Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy: I know we can’t afford Tom Lawrence

Ipswich Manager Mick McCarthy at Portman Road for the FA Cup match with Lincoln City

Ipswich Manager Mick McCarthy at Portman Road for the FA Cup match with Lincoln City

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy says there is no point him even asking how much Leicester City would want for Tom Lawrence.

The 23-year-old forward – on a season-long loan from the Premier League champions – has been in sensational form, scoring five goals in his last three games.

Reports that Town have lodged a £4m bid are wide of the mark though.

Speaking ahead of tonight’s televised FA Cup Third Round replay at Lincoln City (BBC One, 8.05pm ko), McCarthy said: “I’ve never asked the valuation or spoken to anybody at Leicester. He’s our player until the end of the season, so I don’t need to do anything in that respect.

“I’m asking a lot of clubs about the valuation of players at the moment and I don’t need to be told I can’t afford another one! That won’t make me feel any better.”

The Blues boss continued: “To us he’s invaluable. Whatever fee anybody wants to put on him is up to them, I’m not going to start giving him a price tag.

“He’s certainly one of the better players (in the Championship) and he’s playing in a team that is not in the top six and flying.”

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He continued: “I think he is a future Premier League player. He’s still only young though.

“Just check how many times Harry Kane went out on loan (from Tottenham). Maybe people were talking about trying to sign him when he was out at various clubs in the past?

“Leicester are no mugs, they will be monitoring what he’s doing. Why would they let him go? He’s got 18 months left on his contract and still their player.”

Meanwhile, McCarthy, who has just signed 6ft 6in striker Kieffer Moore for a nominal fee from non-league side Forest Green Rovers, says he keeps getting knocked back with seven-figure bids for other players.

The Blues boss also labelled rumours that defender Christophe Berra is negotiating an early settlement of his contract in order to re-join former club Hearts and be nearer his young daughter as ‘ridiculous’.

He said: “He’s our player for the next 18 months if that’s what we want to do.”

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