Jewell has been on European scouting mission
IPSWICH Town manager Paul Jewell insists he has a Plan B should he fails to sign loanees Keith Andrews and Danny Collins on a permanent basis in the Jnauary transfer window.
The Blues boss insists the club will put together a good financial package in order to try and keep the key duo at the club in the January transfer window, but revealed that he and scouts have been scouring Europe for potential replacements should it not happen.
Tomorrow’s Championship visit of Derby County is the last game of centre-back Collins’ loan spell from Stoke City, while eight-goal midfielder Andrews will return to Blackburn in the New Year.
Both players have admitted they see no future for themselves at their Premier League employers, however, Town are likely to face fierce competition for their signatures next month.
Top-flight trio Swansea, Norwich and Wigan have been linked with Republic of Ireland international Andrews, while Wolves are said to be weighing up a move for Wales cap Collins.
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“I can assure supporters that we definitely want to keep them,” said Jewell. “If there’s Premier League interest in them both then obviously it makes it very difficult for us, but I am certainly not resigned to losing them just yet.
“If possible we would like to get them on permanent deals (in January), but they’ve both got more than a year left on Premier League contracts. We will make our best offer and try and make it as attractive as we can. We have to work within the parameters of finance like everyone else though.”
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Collins said: “I think there is a sense of unfinished business here for me, in a way. I am certainly not ruling a return out.
“At the same time the manager understands my family are three hours away and I haven’t seen my (newborn) baby much. There could be interest from other clubs and I would have to listen to what they have to say.”
Jewell added: “We want to keep them, but if we can’t then we’ll have to replace them – and we have other targets in mind.
“I think sometimes people underestimate the intelligence of football managers. If we lose Keith Andrews or Danny Collins we won’t then suddenly panic and think ‘who is available?’ We are always looking to improve the squad – it is a constant thing.
“I was at a game last Friday in Spain. We are out all over Europe trying to improve our squad for years to come.”
– For full match preview of Ipswich v Derby, see tomorrow’s EADT and Evening Star.