Jewell closely monitoring Sharp situation

IPSWICH Town manager Paul Jewell is preparing to reignite his attempts to sign Doncaster Rovers striker Billy Sharp.

As the Blues slumped to a 4-1 defeat at Millwall on Saturday, Sharp was a surprise omission from the south Yorkshire club’s squad as they snatched a 1-1 home draw with fellow strugglers Coventry.

With the result just about keeping Rovers off the foot-of-the-table, new manager Dean Saunders would only cite ‘personal reasons’ for his talisman’s absence.

The EADT understands that Jewell is closely monitoring the situation, having had a �2.3m bid for Sharp and midfielder James Coppinger rejected back in May.

The cash-strapped club proved in the summer that they would be prepared to let their main man go at the right-price after accepting a bid of �3.25m from Southampton.

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And while the Sheffield-born striker rejected that switch, his stance is believed to have changed following his side’s poor start to the campaign and subsequent change of manager.

Sources close to the player say that the powerful forward was disappointed to see manager Sean O’Driscoll sacked last month and that – having bagged 16 goals last season as the battering ram-type focal point of his side’s attack – he is not keen on Saunder’s new way of playing.

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The 25-year-old has scored two goals from five starts so far this season having missed most of August and September with ankle ligament damage.

Ipswich are not exactly short of strikers at present, but a number of question marks hang over that well-stocked position.

Jason Scotland is out-of-contract next summer, Michael Chopra has been undergoing treatment for a severe gambling addiction, while recent additions Jay Emmanuel-Thomas and Nathan Ellington still have much to prove.

That’s not even mentioning Daryl Murphy, who has found his opportunities limited since arriving on loan from Celtic, and Tamas Priskin, who appears to be firmly out of the picture.

The transfer window doesn’t open again until January 1, but one option would be to arrange a short-term loan with a view to a permanent move. Table-topping Southampton are also reportedly interested in renewing their interest.

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