No to Bywater

STEPHEN Bywater has been told he will not be offered a permanent deal with Ipswich Town.

Derek Davis

By Derek Davis

STEPHEN Bywater has been told he will not be offered a permanent deal with Ipswich Town.

Blues boss Jim Magilton confirmed that he is today stepping up his hunt for a new number one after deciding Bywater will not be kept on after his loan spell.

Magilton said: “Stephen has returned to Derby and we will not be offering him a deal.

“Shane Supple has come back and he will play a part for us but I will also be looking for a new number one keeper.”

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Although Bywater finished the season strongly he did not completely win over the fans, especially with his showing at Barnsley, and has returned to pride Park where he faces a fight to even be number two.

Rams boss Paul Jewell has made it clear that Roy Carroll will be him number one and former Town keeper Lewis Price his back up.

Thomas Sorensen was known to be a strong contender but things have gone quiet on the Danish keeper who has been released by Aston Villa as he seeks another Premier League club.

Antti Niemi is another who Town could be keen on after being told he will not be getting a new deal at Fulham.

Although they are hoping to secure Heerenveen centre half Pim Balkestein today after agreeing a deal with the Dutch club, Town are still chasing Leicester City's Gareth McAuley.

Magilton said: “We made a written offer a few weeks ago, which was rejected so we are now being patient. There is no point bidding against ourselves and we have made a very fair price.

“There has been a lot of upheaval at Leicester with the manager going and a new chief executive coming in.

“We will see what difference that makes but we know the lad has made it clear he wants Championship or Premier League football.

“Gareth is a very good player who will be a welcome addition to our squad.”

Town have also expressed an interest in signing Cardiff City defender Roger Johnson but Magilton reiterated that as yet they have made no bid for the FA Cup finalist.