Jewell wants big clubs to show interest in Wickham
IPSWICH TOWN: Paul Jewell wants Connor Wickham to continue to be linked with a move to a Premier League club.
The striker is now under contract at Portman Road until the summer of 2014 having yesterday finalised a one-year extension that he was eligible to do after reaching his 18th birthday on March 31.
Jewell is keen to keep one of the hottest young players around on Town’s books, but he doesn’t mind clubs like Liverpool and Arsenal nosing around.
“Connor’s extended his contract, which is good, but it won’t stop the speculation
“All the talk has been of clubs being interested in him. And to be honest I don’t want that to stop.
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“Because if it carries on it means Connor is doing well and this is what we want to see.”
And reflecting on Wickham signing a contract extension, Jewell went on: “It means that we’re committed to Connor and he’s committed to us.
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“He’s done terrifically well, and hopefully he can learn a lot here produce the goods and get to where he wants to be with us. That would be utopia.
“The right decision for Connor is for him to stay here, because he’s still a puppy, still a baby really. He’s big and strong but only 18.”
Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp has confirmed that the Londoners have no interest in taking Wickham during the summer.
“I don’t see us paying the sort of money that Ipswich are talking about.
“He’s not someone who’d be ready to play in the first team next season. He’d be better off staying for another year.”
Jewell, who said that any talk of selling Wickham for big money in the summer and then loaning him back next season was hypothetical, is expecting to get decisions on his senior players out of contract next week.
“By the end of next week I hope to have some announcements to make,” said Jewell.
“We are trying to get somewhere close with David Norris, although his agent is being elusive while Damien Delaney’s agent met with our chief executive on Wednesday.
“I’ll be speaking to Arran Lee-Barrett and the rest of those out of contract as we have to start putting time-frames and limits on it all now.”