Ipswich Town want to make six summer signings - at least
PAUL Jewell has revealed he is looking to bring in at least six new players this summer – on the day he hears whether Grant Leadbitter will be part of his plans.
The Blues boss is looking to overhaul his under-performing squad with old guard Lee Bowyer and Richard Wright both leaving the club at the end of the season.
The long-running saga of Grant Leadbitter’s future will also be decided today – although fans might not know what the midfielder has decided until Jewell reveals his team for tomorrow’s trip to Doncaster Rovers.
Regardless of whether the 26-year-old stays or not, and we understand he is leaning towards a move away from Portman Road, Jewell has revealed for the first time the extent of his summer improvements.
He said: “We’re looking for a goalkeeper, some central defenders – we’ve only Damien (Delaney) and Tommy (Smith) at the club so we need a couple more there at least – we need another midfield player and another forward. People talk about the spine of a team and that’s where we’re looking.
“In and around that, there might be one or two utility players coming in who can play a few different positions, maybe provide cover for full-backs.
“Ideally, I would like to get all my players in by the first day of pre-season, but it never works like that. We want to get ahead of the game and move quickly.”
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While Jewell is looking to end the season on a high at the Keepmoat Stadium, it is the sub-plot of players in and out that will most occupy fans’ minds over the weekend.
After being given another week to make up his mind where he wants toplay his football next season, Jewell’s patience with Leadbitter is finally up.
He said: “I’ll be honest with you, if he’s in the team on Saturday that means he’s agreed to stay, if he’s not it means he’s moving elsewhere. It’s as simple as that.
“I’m expecting to know before the game. We’d love him to stay, but if he doesn’t we wish him well. It’s a big move for him.”
The make-up for the Town squad next season – among the current personnel at least – also moved a step closer yesterday with the club confirming that Tommy Smith is close to signing a new deal but Bowyer and Wright will both be released.
Meanwhile, Ipswich have been linked with Birmingham keeper Colin Doyle who is available on a free transfer in the summer.