McAuley attracts interest in transfer market

GARETH McAuley is the latest in a line of Ipswich Town players to be attracting interest from other clubs.

And McAuley’s value will have been boosted by his inclusion in Northern Ireland’s current squad for the looming friendlies against Turkey and Chile.

Despite Town’s mediocre performance last season, in which they finished in their joint-lowest position since 1957 (15th in the second tier), Roy Keane’s men look like being hot property in the transfer market.

Keane insists that he has a core of players that he does not want to leave Portman Road, and these include Connor Wickham and Jon Walters, who have been linked with big-money moves to Tottenham and Stoke City respectively during the last week.

Now it’s the turn of former skipper McAuley, who was crowned the supporters’ player-of-the-year last term, to be the subject of interest. An unnamed Premier League club, in addition to Scottish Premier League champions Rangers, are believed to be considering a move for the experienced centre-half.

McAuley formed a solid centre-half partnership with Damien Delaney during the second half of the recent season, after enduring an up-and-down first couple of months.

The 30-year-old, who signed for Town from Leicester City for �1.5m two years ago, is still under contract at Portman Road for another year.

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He has so far won 20 caps for Northern Island, and is now looking forward to making further appearances against Turkey (in Connecticut on May 26) and away in Chile on May 30.

The recent speculation surrounding some of his high-profile players will come as no surprise to Keane, who remains confident of holding onto his best players, as well as adding four or five new faces before the start of next season.

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