O'Callaghan turns down Brighton move

GEORGE O'Callaghan has turned down the chance of joining League One club Brighton.Ipswich had accepted an offer of around £75,000 for the midfielder, and had allowed the Irishman to hold talks with the south coast club.

By Derek Davis

GEORGE O'Callaghan has turned down the chance of joining League One club Brighton.

Ipswich had accepted an offer of around £75,000 for the midfielder, and had allowed the Irishman to hold talks with the south coast club.

But Brighton were unwilling to meet his personal terms and the former Port Vale and Cork City player is still hoping to ply his trade in the Championship.


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Although a number of Championship clubs, including Sheffield Wednesday, Scunthorpe, QPR, Colchester United and Plymouth, have been linked with the Irishman, none have followed up any enquiries with a bid.

Although the Brighton deal appears to have fallen through, other clubs still have 48 hours to acquire O'Callaghan's services until the transfer window closes at midnight on Friday.

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It was revealed on Monday that O'Callaghan was set for a move, with Brighton among the clubs interested.

The deal was understood to be for around £60,000 up front with a further £15,000 depending on appearances.

While O'Callaghan would ideally like to stay in the Championship, League One outfit Brighton were the only club to show the colour of their money and have stolen a march on everyone else, and manager Dean Wilkins spoke to O'Callaghan personally yesterday.

O'Callaghan last night said: “It would be a shame to leave Ipswich because the supporters have been brilliant to me, even though they never saw enough of me, and all the lads are fantastic, but I need to be playing regular football.”

Town manager Jim Magilton praised O'Callaghan's ability and attitude, but empathised with his frustration at not getting a run in the side.

He said: “I don't want to lose George but I wouldn't stand in his way. He has been great since he has been here. He is very popular in the dressing-room and he has done very well.

“But he is 28 years of age and needs to be playing games. I have been there, so totally understand how frustrating it can be.

“We will do anything we can to help him.

“I have absolutely no problems with George. He has been top class since he came here. His attitude is first-class in training and in games.”

O'Callaghan had impressed during the Blues' victory against the Seagulls' second string two weeks ago as he ran the game in which Town won the Champions Cup, watched by Brighton chairman Dick Knight.

Albion are also keen to take Matt Richards on loan, but he is keen to stay and fight for a place. Brighton boss Wilkins is also interested in taking Dean Bowditch once again, with a view to a permanent move, and will be encouraged to learn the striker played 75 minutes of a behind-closed-doors friendly against Bristol Rovers at Portman Road yesterday afternoon.

The Blues won 1-0, with Billy Clarke hitting the winner.

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