Ipswich Town still trying to ‘thrash out’ a deal for Leicester City defender Sean St Ledger

IPSWICH Town manager Paul Jewell is desperate to land the signing of Leicester defender Sean St Ledger ahead of Wednesday night’s match at Birmingham.

The Blues conceded three goals or more in a game for the 10th time this season on Saturday, individual errors once again costing them as they lost 3-1 at Hull City in the FA Cup third round.

Damien Delaney limped off after injuring his recently fractured foot, leaving the Blues with just two fit centre-backs in Ibrahima Sonko and Tommy Smith.

Jewell revealed last week that he is in negotiations with Championship rivals Leicester to sign Republic of Ireland international centre-back St Ledger.

The 27-year-old has been transfer-listed following a fall-out with manager Nigel Pearson on Boxing Day. He had been dropped for the 1-1 home draw with Town.

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Jewell tried to sign the defender last summer – putting in a �1.5m bid to previous employers Preston – but was beaten to the signing by the big-spending Foxes.

Numerous other clubs are also interested in St Ledger though, with a host of Championship clubs – believed to include Leeds – and a team from Italy’s Serie A also in talks.

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“I’ve spoken to Nigel Pearson and I’ve spoken to the player’s agent,” said Jewell. “It now depends on the player.

“There are a few clubs in for Sean. We’re in there and we just hope we can maybe get something done.

“We were probably desperately short of centre-halves before the game. It’s an area where we need to improve and it’s one we’re trying to strengthen, I think everybody knows that.

“We have been trying to work since the window opened on bringing one, if not two, in.”

Jewell says Town and Leicester are still discussing a fee, having last week said it may be a loan move with view to a permanent switch.

He said: “The chief execs are speaking, trying to thrash out a deal. We’ve got another player that we’re after as well, whether we can do both of them or not I’m not sure, but we certainly need to do one.”

The second player Jewell refers to is likely to be Reading goalkeeper Alex McCarthy, who is set to join the Blues on a three-month loan today.

Jewell added: “It’s always a difficult time at the start of the window because everybody is chasing the same players. We’re not the only club interested in both players I’ve mentioned.”

Meanwhile, when asked if he expected any players to be sold this month, Jewell said: “I don’t think anyone is going to want them having seen the way we’re playing.

“I don’t see too many players going. We want to strengthen our squad, it needs strengthening. That doesn’t mean there won’t be any exits but I haven’t had any interest for anyone.”

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