O'Callaghan wants place at Town

GEORGE O'Callaghan is ignoring the clamour for his services in his native Ireland to focus on getting back into the Ipswich Town's Championship side.Dublin club Bohemians, and St Patrick's, now under former Republic of Ireland boss Brian Kerr, are among the sides keen on signing O'Callaghan.

Derek Davis

GEORGE O'Callaghan is ignoring the clamour for his services in his native Ireland to focus on getting back into the Ipswich Town's Championship side.

Dublin club Bohemians, and St Patrick's, now under former Republic of Ireland boss Brian Kerr, are among the sides keen on signing O'Callaghan.

Newly-installed Cork City manager Alan Matthews, who takes his first training session at their Bishopstown training centre tomorrow, has openly stated that O'Callaghan is his No. 1 target and he also wants to get Danny Murphy and Dave Mooney.

O'Callaghan's agent said last night: “If George were to become available he would be the most coveted player in Ireland. He is a special talent and is still a fans' favourite there.

“At the moment though, I know he is determined to get into the Ipswich first team and is working very hard to achieve that.

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“There are a number of clubs interested in him but I have told them they need to speak to Jim Magilton.”

O'Callaghan enjoyed a successful loan spell at Brighton, where he was popular with supporters and team-mates alike, but he fell out with the chairman Dick Knight after warning they could lose their key players and slip down the table.

Manager Dean Wilkins still wanted to keep him on loan, along with Matt Richards, but both players declined to return.

The 28-year-old midfielder is anxious to prove he can hold down a place in the Town side and with Gavin Williams out this weekend with torn fibres in a thigh, Tommy Miller struggling with injury and Liam Trotter suspended, O'Callaghan will be competing with Sylvain Legwinski for a place at Blackpool on Saturday.

A change in UEFA rules over playing for three clubs means O'Callaghan could play for an Irish club as their league season runs at a different time to the English league.

His only start for Town this year was in the 1-1 draw at Plymouth and last year O'Callaghan made just four starts in his 12 appearances, scoring once, so Magilton would not stand in O'Callaghan's way if he were to get an offer.

He is looking for a nominal fee for the player.

Ipswich manager Jim Magilton is continuing to try to bring players in. He is poised to make another move for Leicester City centre-half Gareth McAuley.

The Blues had an original bid of around £700,000 for the defender knocked back but Magilton could be ready to go back with an improved offer.

The Northern Ireland international defender is understood to be disgruntled at the Walkers Stadium with the money being paid to Ian Holloway's new signings and is looking to improve his terms elsewhere.

Plymouth are unlikely to allow David Norris to leave Home Park and Magilton is set to make a move for another midfielder.

Burnley forward Andy Gray has again been linked with Town but the Clarets insist they have had just one bid for him from a Championship club and that was from Charlton.

derek.davis@archant.co.uk