Norris to leave Ipswich Town, McAuley next?

SKIPPER David Norris will be leaving Portman Road at the end of the season.

The 30-year-old midfielder has been unable to agree a new contract with Ipswich Town and will move on when his current deal ends in the summer.

Portsmouth are known to be interested in signing a player who cost Ipswich �2million in January 2008 and will leave for nothing.

Norris is believed to have three or four options with Leeds United and Nottingham Forest also keeping a close eye on the situation.

After talks with Town manager Paul Jewell this week, Norris has come to the conclusion that his request for a three-year Ipswich deal will not be forthcoming.

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So reluctantly he will be moving on and signing a deal with a new club that will take him beyond his 33rd birthday.

His decision is not based on money despite a number of players joining Ipswich and being put on higher wages than Norris, who is leading scorer this term with 11 goals.

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If Norris had been 25 it is understood that he would have quickly signed the Ipswich offer. But he understandably wants to get the best he can for himself and his family from his last decent contract.

Norris is happy with the way manager Paul Jewell has handled the situation, but was believed to be one of the players left fuming when chief executive Simon Clegg said three weeks ago that he would not allow players to hold the club to ransom over contracts.

While Norris will be departing after Saturday’s final game of the season at Leicester City, it is looking as though Gareth McAuley will also be leaving having received a lucrative offer reported to be from Rangers to move to Glasgow on a Bosman.

With their reluctance to commit themselves to offers made a number of weeks ago there must be doubts whether Brian Murphy, Colin Healy and Arran Lee-Barrett will stay.

The figures in question are such that they suggest the players concerned may not be considered certain first team squad members next season.

Norris has won the Players’ Player of the Year award pipping McAuley by one vote. Carlos Edwards won the John Kerridge Memorial Trophy for the club’s most improved player, while Josh Carson picked up the Harold Smith Trophy for the academy’s most improved player.

Connor Wickham won the Goal of the Season award for his solo effort against Sheffield United with McAuley taking the Customers, Boxholders and Sponsors’ Player of the Season prize.

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