Norris looks set to leave Town this summer

DAVID Norris’s days as an Ipswich Town player could be numbered.

DAVID Norris’s days as an Ipswich Town player could be numbered.

Town boss Paul Jewell is hopeful that both Gareth McAuley and Damien Delaney will sign new contracts within the next few weeks, but he admits that Norris’s future is more unclear.

In fact, it appears more likely that Norris will NOT be playing his football at Portman Road next season.

Jewell discussed the contract situations of his three most high-profile players, before yesterday’s training session.

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He revealed that written offers were to be sent out to both McAuley and Delaney, concerning new deals, but that Norris was “more complicated.”

“I spoke to Dave and his agent, and that is not quite as clear as the other two,” admitted Jewell, with regards Norris’s contract talks.

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“I have no problem with Chuck (Norris). He is the captain of the team, and he will continue to be captain while he is playing.

“We will see where it goes. He’s comfortable with it, but obviously I understand that players want to get their futures sorted out as well as we do.

“We would like him to stay. But he will have offers elsewhere, which I understand, that’s what happens in football.

“David has to do what is best by his family, as they all do.

“But I want to try and get my good players to stay,” added Jewell.

Midfielder maestro Norris has been heavily linked with Portsmouth, to the extent that Pompey boss Steve Cotterill insisted, two months ago, that the 29-year-old was keen to move to Fratton Park.

Reacting to that story at the time, during the January transfer window, Jewell admitted that it was – “news to me” – that Norris wanted to sign for Portsmouth.

Other clubs are also sure to be interested in Norris who, along with McAuley and Delaney, is one of 21 players out-of-contract at Portman Road this summer.

Crystal Palace lodged an audacious �800,000 bid to sign both Norris and Delaney from Town on deadline day at the end of January.

Jewell revealed more encouraging news, with regards the possibility of Town’s centre-half partnership of McAuley and Delaney remaining together at Portman Road for next season, and beyond.

“We are a lot further ahead with some of the contracts,” explained Jewell.

“I spoke to the players just before they went away (on international duty). I’ve spoken to them all, including Damien and Gareth.

“I told them we will be putting an offer in writing, and hopefully that will be accepted. As soon as it is accepted, it will get signed.

“But if one or two or three don’t sign, then that’s their prerogative. They have all handled themselves well. There has been no sulking.”

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