Jewell on course for his first summer signing
IPSWICH Town manager Paul Jewell is on course to make his first summer signing.
Jewell is concentrating on bringing in at least one proven 20-goal a season striker, and this is his priority.
But the man being lined up to sign first this close season is not believed to be a striker.
Jewell has been aware for some time that he was going to have to replace central defender Gareth McAuley and midfielder David Norris and he has been working towards this.
“I have spoken to two players whose contracts are up in the summer,” said Jewell.
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“And our chairman is talking to clubs to get permission to talk to other players. Hopefully we can bring players in sooner rather than later.”
This is not expected to be this week, but Jewell is hopeful that by the end of next week he will have a new first team regular onboard.
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Hearts defensive midfielder Eggert Jonsson has been linked and the Icelandic international can also play as a central defender and right-back.
Jonsson is said to have been watched by Ipswich this season with the club confirming that they have been looking regularly at players north of the border.
The 22-year-old made his senior debut as a 15-year-old, and broke into the Edinburgh club’s first team in 2006/07.
Jonsson is contracted to Hearts until 2012 with 21-year-old Tranmere Rovers left-back Aaron Cresswell another reported target of Jewell and out of contract this summer.
West Brom are said to be moving in on defender McAuley with their manager Roy Hodgson having watched the Championship derby between Ipswich and Norwich last month.
The 31-year-old, who is leaving Portman Road on a Bosman with his contract ending this summer, has also been watched by Glasgow Rangers.
Town skipper Norris is also on his way with Portsmouth, Crystal Palace, Nottingham Forest and Leeds said to be interested.
The massive advertising placard of Norris above the ticket windows at Ipswich Station now has a rather embarrassing look about it.
When Norris unveiled it at the turn of the year his future was already up for grabs with Ipswich taking their time in offering a new contract.
Town chief executive Simon Clegg wouldn’t be drawn into commenting on former manager Roy Keane’s recent comments about him.
He said: “I enjoyed my time working with Roy, but that’s now history and I’m focused on supporting the new manager.
“And this is going very well.”