Jim prepared if Garvan does not sign

IPSWICH Town manager Jim Magilton has contingency plans if key midfielder Owen Garvan refuses to sign a new extended contract.Garvan, who made 45 first-team appearances last season, is currently in his native Republic of Ireland and is not expected back at Portman Road until the start of pre-season training next Wednesday.

Elvin King

IPSWICH Town manager Jim Magilton has contingency plans if key midfielder Owen Garvan refuses to sign a new extended contract.

Garvan, who made 45 first-team appearances last season, is currently in his native Republic of Ireland and is not expected back at Portman Road until the start of pre-season training next Wednesday.

The 20-year-old's contract comes to an end next summer, and Magilton is keen to secure a long-term commitment from a player who made the senior Irish squad for the first time this spring.

A number of Premier League clubs are watching the situation closely and are ready to pounce if Garvan fails to commit himself long-time to the Blues.

Magilton today confirmed that he is ready to look elsewhere if he cannot convince the Irish Under-21 international to sign a contract extension.

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“I have heard nothing from Owen,” confirmed Magilton today.

“We offered him a contract extension before the end of last season and I am still waiting to sit down and discuss it with him.

“Hopefully he recognises that his own ambitions match those of Ipswich Town.

“If not we will have to do something about it.

“Owen finished last season well, and he continues in the same vein he will start in the team this term.”

Last July Garvan had some issues that saw him return to Dublin for a few days and the previous campaign he suffered a debilitating illness that saw him lose most of his energy and led to him missing a good percentage of 2006/07.

He has the potential to become a top star, and a number of Premier League clubs have already shown an interest in the player who joined Town straight from school.

If Garvan is lured away then Magilton will step up a search for a midfield player to replace him at the heart of his midfield.

The Blues can command a realistic fee in the region of £2.5million if Garvan moves this summer.

If he does not sign a contract extension his value would diminish dramatically as next season progresses with his Town deal coming to an end.

Meanwhile, Town chairman David Sheepshanks is in Jamaica with his Alexander Ross football consultancy advising football authorities as they plan a new league structure.

Sheepshanks, former FA executive director David Davies and Mike Blood, a corporate lawyer and former advisor to Manchester United, are meeting with the Jamaica Football Federation and their Premier League Clubs Association to discuss three organisational models which they see as possible future approaches to professional football on the Caribbean island.

The Town chairman, who now holds a non-executive role at Portman Road, said: “In any project like this, the most important thing is to listen to the local people, understand their wishes before we come with a prescriptive model because every model has to be right for the local market conditions.”