Jewell looking for better replacements for Norris and McAuley
IPSWICH Town manager Paul Jewell has started his search to bring in better replacements for skipper David Norris and key defender Gareth McAuley.
Jewell confirmed yesterday that both are leaving Portman Road and added: “I will be endeavouring to bring in replacements and maybe better ones.”
Both Norris, 30 and leading scorer this season with 11 goals, and McAuley, 31, turned down the offers of a new contract with their current ones running out next month.
“I have seen both players today and they are going to leave,” added Jewell yesterday.
“David says that he has one or two offers while Gareth tells me that a Premier League club is showing interest.
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“I wish them both well, and they have been model professionals.”
Norris has been linked with Crystal Palace and with Wigan while Portsmouth are adamant that the former Plymouth player will sign for them on a Bosman.
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The player has confirmed that he has a number of options, while McAuley has been reported to be interesting Glasgow Rangers while his impressive shows for Ipswich and his assured displays for Northern Ireland could well have caught the eye of other top clubs.
“I can understand their position,” added Jewell. “I’m disappointed to lose them but there are lessons to be learned as a club after leaving ourselves open to them both getting better offers elsewhere.
McAuley, who was signed by Jim Magilton in the summer of 2008, said: “It should have been sorted out last summer.
“Ipswich turned down a couple of offers for me, and if they were keen to keep me they should have offered me a new deal then instead of letting it drag on for months.
“I was eventually offered a two year contract, but it was not right for me and I told the club with the ball back in their court.
McAuley had revealed that he believed some players had not been pulling their weight under the management of Roy Keane and were not disappointed to see him go.
Jewell spoke to Jimmy Bullard yesterday and also his parent club Hull City about keeping the 32-year-old key midfielder at the club next season.
“Jimmy wants to stay, and I want him to stay, but we are talking about a complicated deal,” said Jewell.
“We have Gareth McAuley to replace and other areas to strengthen, but my main aim is to bring in a 20-goal a season striker.
“I have spoken to two players who are out of contract in the summer and the chairman is talking to clubs to see whether we can get permission to speak to a couple of others.
“Whatever system we use next season we have got to ensure we score goals and become much more of a goal threat.”