Jewell: Chopra’s here to play alongside Wickham

MICHAEL Chopra has been signed to partner Connor Wickham up front at Ipswich Town – not replace him.

Blues boss Paul Jewell issued a hands off warning to Premier League clubs regarding his teenage sensation yesterday.

The 18-year-old striker – currently on international duty with the England Under-21s at the European Championships in Denmark – has been linked heavily with Liverpool and Sunderland this summer, with transfer bids anywhere between �5million and �10m being reported.

Speculation of a Portman Road exit therefore reached fever pitch over the weekend after Jewell signed striker Michael Chopra from Cardiff City for a fee believed to be around �1.5m.

The experienced Liverpudlian insists he plans on not only keeping Wickham, but also adding another hitman to a forward line which also has Jason Scotland and Tamas Priskin.

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“We’ve had no offers for any of our players and that includes Connor,” said Jewell, who admitted the thought of Chopra and Wickham playing in the same team excited him.

“If Connor Wickham wanted to leave and the right offer came in then we’d have to consider it. However, Connor’s never given me any indication he wants to leave so our backs are by no means against the wall.

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“We don’t want to sell him and the good thing is I’m not in a position where I have to sell anyone. If we get a bid for anybody, no matter how good it is, it will have to suit us.”

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