Jewell admits Wickham talks

PAUL Jewell has opened the door on the possibility of bringing back Connor Wickham on loan – and forging a dream strike partnership with Michael Chopra.

The Ipswich Town manager has admitted he has discussed the possibility of bringing the teenager back to Portman Road – two months after he was sold to Sunderland for an initial �8.1 million.

And although Black Cats boss Steve Bruce gave him short shrift, this could all change if the goal-shy Premier League side can bring in at least one new forward before the summer transfer window closes at 11pm tonight.

Jewell revealed: “I spoke with Steve the other day and we were chatting about various things. I thought he (Connor) probably needed another year in the Championship and I said to Steve if they wanted to loan him back, we would take him. He, very cleverly, went on to another subject.

“I said to Steve I thought he needed another year in the Championship and then we’ll see if he is ready to make the step up. They bought him and he hasn’t played but he might catch fire. He has certainly got the attributes and he is a man in body. But, football-wise, he is a boy.”

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Wickham has endured a difficult start to his Sunderland career, playing little over half an hour in their opening three league matches and not starting in the shock 1-0 defeat by Brighton in the Carling Cup.

And while Bruce might not have been moved by Jewell’s very serious proposition of a loan deal, the Sunderland boss has admitted he would like to add to his firepower with the Black Cats scoring just once all season and still looking for their first Premier League win.

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Bruce said: “We’ve brought in Ji Dong-won and Wickham as players for the future. We were delighted to have the opportunity to get players of their potential in, but we won’t see the best of them for a year to 18 months.”

While not getting his hopes up, especially so soon after the big money move, Jewell certainly wants to be first in the queue should Wickham become available this season.

Jewell said: “I thought we got a real good deal for him and we really wish him well. He is a terrific lad.

“It is a different ball game that top league. Sunderland is a big club and he has to go there and produce it. When you go for �8 million, people expect you almost to be the finished article. The lad has a terrific head on his shoulders but he has an awful lot to learn.”

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