Ipswich Town’s pursuit of Jay Tabb hits snag as Skuse signs

Jay Tabb

Jay Tabb - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Town’s pursuit of out-of-contract midfielder Jay Tabb has developed a hitch and that could open the door for Championship rivals Birmingham and Middlesbrough to swoop.

Town boss Mick McCarthy wants to land the Reading star, following the arrival of Bristol City midfielder Cole Skuse yesterday, but we understand the club and player are struggling to agree personal terms.

Tabb, 29, is desperate to return to Portman Road, following a successful loan spell this season, and further talks are imminent.

A two-year contract is in the pipeline and the midfielder, who scored one goal in nine appearances for the Blues, could be announced as an Ipswich signing early next week should a compromise be reached.

We understand Tabb has yet to speak to Birmingham boss Lee Clark or Middlesbrough manager Tony Mowbray, who are both keen on the midfielder, but it is thought he would be receptive to their advances, should a return to Suffolk remain unresolved.

Skuse, meanwhile, has penned a three-year deal to become Mick McCarthy’s first capture of pre-season and will officially become a Town player on July 1 when his deal at Ashton Gate expires.

Skuse skippered the Robins this season but could not prevent Sean O’Driscoll’s side from slipping into League One.

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The Bristol-born midfielder, 27, made 307 appearances in all competitions for the only club he has represented, scoring a total of nine goals.

“Once I had decided to leave Bristol, I was flattered with the interest from other clubs and had a few options to weigh up,” Skuse said.

“Ipswich stuck out though. I see the club as a sleeping giant and they should be in the top flight really.

“I’ve played at Portman Road a few times and it’s a great stadium and the support the Club receives from the fans is fantastic.

“I spoke to a few players who have played there before, lads like Hendo [Stephen Henderson], Bradley Orr and Steady [Jon Stead].

“They couldn’t speak highly enough of the manager, staff and Club in general. They said it was a good club to join so that was a factor in my decision but I was already looking at Ipswich to be honest.

“When you see they have a manager of Mick McCarthy’s standing in the game, you know it’s a club that is showing ambition.

“Moving to Ipswich is the next challenge for me and I’m looking forward to it. I can’t wait to get started.”