McAuley could be on his way out of Town

IPSWICH TOWN: Gareth McAuley could be joining Jon Walters on his way out of Portman Road.

Blues manager Roy Keane confirmed today that he had received enquiries about the central defender and did not rule out more players leaving over the next few weeks.

Both McAuley and Walters are set to face Middlesbrough tomorrow (kick-off 3pm) in the opening fixture of the 2010/11 Championship season.

Keane is certainly not showing the door to either player – both were key performers last season and regulars in the team.

But he said: “As much as people have been disappointed that we haven’t added to the squad, it was just as important that we held on to people like Jon Walters for as long as we can, as well as Gareth McAuley and Connor Wickham.

“But I do live in the real world and if an offer comes in, we have to look at it, of course we do.

“The offers I’ve received for Gareth have been silly ones and ones that I was not interested in.”

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McAuley has changed agent since last autumn when it was reported his agent was told to find him a new club at the time he was stripped of the captaincy.

The Northern Ireland international said: “Unless Ipswich receive a bid and they accept it, which will make it an entirely different situation, I don’t want to even hear the word transfer.

“I’d like to say the talk last year didn’t unsettle me but the truth is that it did and I don’t need it all over again.”

While Cardiff striker Michael Chopra remains a serious target for Keane, he is not expecting to receive cash for the sale of Walters to Stoke City to finance it for a while – at least.

“If Stoke reach an offer for Jon that the owner feels is acceptable, then like every player I suppose on the planet, there’s a good chance he’ll go.

“If anything its going to be the next week or two. The Premiership does not start for another week or so, and there’s usually fun and games with negotiations, particularly with certain clubs and managers.

“So I’d expect this one to drag on a little bit longer. But Jon’s aware of it.”

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