Paul Jewell distances himself from fresh bid for Pompey players

PAUL Jewell has ruled out re-entering negotiations with Portsmouth over Jason Pearce, Joel Ward and Stephen Henderson – unless the players’ demands change.

The transfer window saga between the two divisional rivals ended unsuccessfully for Ipswich who had a bid for Pearce rejected while they were unable to clinch deadline day moves for Ward and Henderson after failing to agree personal terms.

Jewell yesterday revealed some of the intricacies of dealing with the cash-strapped club while refuting strongly any suggestion that he didn’t have a Plan B when it came to bringing in a new defender.

And he said: “We were led to believe that a deal could be done. But we can’t do a deal with the players until you agree a fee. We felt the players’ terms, the agent’s demands, were excessive so I said no. We won’t look at it unless the demands change.”

Jewell described dealing with the various people currently involved in Portsmouth as a “complete nightmare” as he looked to secure the ambitious triple bid.

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He said: “We were a bit against the clock and it turned into a saga. It was a nightmare – were we speaking to the right people, was it the administrator or the chief executive? It was difficult.

“It was a bit of a unique circumstance. It went on for a few weeks and we had different phone calls saying you are not allowed to speak to the chief executive, you have to speak the administrator. Then the administrator would come on and say you have to speak to him and then an agent would come on and say I am brokering the deal.

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“It was really messy. I knew by 4pm on deadline day it wasn’t going to happen as I hadn’t even met or spoken to the players. It was a complete nightmare.”

Jewell’s comments seem to rule out trying to get any of the trio on loan in the weeks to come with a view to a permanent deal in the summer.

But the Ipswich manager did admit that he is looking at dipping into the temporary market – but refused to comment on whether he would bring in an experienced player or a youngster from the Premier League fringes.

After having a bid for Danny Higginbottom turned down on Monday – the Stoke City defender joining Nottingham Forest instead – Jewell added: “I don’t blame them but Premier League managers try and sell their players rather than loan them. When the window closes, they become available for loan.”

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