Jim hopes for Bruce deal

BLUES boss Jim Magilton is today hoping a deal can be struck to keep defender Alex Bruce.

Derek Davis

By Derek Davis

BLUES boss Jim Magilton is today hoping a deal can be struck to keep defender Alex Bruce.

The 24-year-old is out of contract next summer and will be allowed to talk to other clubs from January if he does not agree a new contract with Ipswich Town.

Blues chief executive Derek Bowden is due to meet with Bruce's representative to present a new contract after a previous offer was rejected by Bruce and Magilton is hoping a deal will be struck.

Even if this new offer is not acceptable Magilton accepted that Town might cash in on Bruce in the January transfer window.

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Magilton said: “We are speaking with his agent this week and we can hopefully get something thrashed out.

“Alex is very much part of my plans. He has played five 90 minute games this season. He has played a lot of football for me. He has played more games under me than any other manager, including his father.

“In the end it will come down to whether we can thrash out a deal.

“If we can, then wonderful, because he is very much part of our squad, if not then we may look to do something in January.”

Bruce was Magilton's first signing when he took him on a free from Birmingham City when his dad Steve was manager and has made 90 appearances for Ipswich.

Bruce missed the Republic of Ireland's game against Cyprus at Croke Park last night after picking up an abductor strain when he skippered the 'B' side to victory over Nottingham Forest last week.

The Irish insist the injury is not serious but he will be further assessed by Town's medical staff when he returns today.

If he comes through training over the next couple of days then Bruce will competing with Moritz Volz for the right back berth against Swansea on Saturday.

Gareth McAuley was in action for Northern Ireland in their World Cup qualifier against San Marino and along with Veliche Shumulikoski who played for Macedonian against Iceland last night, return to Portman Road today.

Owen Garvan will no doubt put up with some ribbing after missing a penalty for the Republic of Ireland Under-21s against Lithuania but he also scored for his country in the 3-0 win.

Swansea have an injury worry over Andrea Orlandi who stood out in the Welsh club's 3-1 home win over Wolves before the international break, but they have Tom Butler back after a hamstring strain.

derek.davis@adt.co.uk