Ipswich Town manager: Titus Bramble is not training with Blues

Titus Bramble

Titus Bramble - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy has quashed suggestions that Titus Bramble will be training with the Blues this week.

The 31-year-old is currently a free agent, having left Sunderland at the end of the season, having also played in the top flight for Wigan and Newcastle.

McCarthy, whose team officially returned to pre-season training this morning, is in the hunt for new defenders to add to his squad and has also been linked with Wolves defender Richard Stearman and former Blackpool utility man, Kirk Broadfoot.

As for Bramble, however, for now it seems the former Town youngster will not be returning to the Blues’ Playford Road training base any time soon.

“It’s never even crossed my mind,” said McCarthy.

“Titus Bramble will have other clubs interested from him, in the Premier League, and I have not spoken to the player or his agent.

“But I can’t say no because that would be a complete lie. What if he came here and said ‘Listen, I love living down here and this is where I come from, what’s your budget, what can you offer me?’, and I said ‘£500 a week’ and he said ‘I love it here and I’ll come and play’?

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“I might consider it then under those circumstances. So, if I said no, I’d be lying.”

Meanwhile, the Town manager has re-iterated his dislike of pre-season.

The Blues’ first pre-season game is in Ireland, against Shelbourne on Saturday July 6, but McCarthy says the result will have little bearing on the way his team’s season maps out.

“I am not the biggest fan of pre-season and results-wise, nothing really counts,” he said.

“The players were tested on Friday and it’s not a case of them coming back to get fit, they are almost there and ready to play now.

They will go with Lidds (Andy Liddell) this morning and we will get the footballs out this afternoon.”

Transfer-listed Michael Chopra was at training this morning, as did McCarthy’s four current signings, Cole Skuse, David McGoldrick, Daryl Murphy and Jay Tabb, but there was no sign of Jay Emmanuel-Thomas.

For more from Mick McCarthy on his transfer targets, pre-season and the Blues’ fixture list, see tomorrow’s Archant publications.