Ipswich Town: Frustration as Blues miss out on Austin

IPSWICH Town fans have been left frustrated at the failure to capture up-and-coming young striker Charlie Austin.

The 21-year-old signed for Burnley yesterday after failing to agree terms when in Ipswich talking to chief executive Simon Clegg on Thursday afternoon.

Town fans will be even more up in arms if skipper David Norris is allowed to leave before the game at Derby on Tuesday should Portsmouth up their original bid.

Town had agreed a fee believed to be around �1.8 million with Swindon Town, but once Burnley matched the offer the extra financial lure that last season’s Premier League club could offer won the day – along with new Clarets manager Eddie Howe’s knowledge of the former Poole Town player when Howe was in charge at Bournemouth.

Poole are set to pocket 15% of the fee to help in their quest for a new ground, while Ipswich fans are left to lament the loss of a man who could have boosted the club’s poor goal output.

Having seen another young hot shot – Jordan Rhodes – allowed to leave to join Huddersfield 18 months ago, Blues followers are today questioning the resolve and efficiency of the decision makers at Portman Road.

But Austin could virtually hold interested clubs to ransom and with four years of parachute payments to come and �7.5 million received from the summer sale of Steven Fletcher to Wolves, Burnley have money to spend.

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If Town owner Marcus Evans and Clegg had strayed from the club’s wage policy and brought in an untried Championship player on significantly more money than the rest it would have caused a good deal of unrest.

While Ipswich have missed out on Austin they are still hoping to sign 27-year-old Luton Town midfielder Andy Drury by Monday evening.

They have had a �100,000 bid turned down for a player who likes to play wide and can cross with both feet. He has a clause in his contract that he can talk to Championship clubs.

Jewell says he’s hopeful that he can add to his squad adding: “We’re trying to help the squad and improve it.”

Jewell is understood to have had talks with his senior players who are out of contract in June with Norris and Gareth McAuley his priority.

Once February 1 arrives all 22 of Ipswich’s players whose contracts run out on June 30 will have no saleable value at all – although they will still be able to extend their current Blues deals.