POLL: Josh Carson set to sign contract but no news on Tommy Smith

PAUL Jewell has admitted he is confident Josh Carson will sign his new deal with Ipswich Town next week – but fellow young gun Tommy Smith might have to wait until the end of the season to have his fate decided.

The Blues boss yesterday gave mixed messages over the future of two of his brightest youngsters. The majority of supporters want to see Carson’s future sorted and Jewell is confident the teenager will sign a three-year contract next week. But the future of 21-year-old Smith is less certain.

Of the young duo, Jewell confirmed: “I am meeting Josh’s agent on Tuesday or Wednesday to try and finalise that deal, but I am confident it will go ahead. We haven’t spoken to Tommy.

“Sometimes you think lets see what happens at the end of the season. If players perform until the end of the season, it will put them in a stronger position. It might weaken our hand but we will deal with the contracts on an individual basis.”

Talks with Carlos Edwards have stalled of late and we understand the winger-turned-defender would have to accept reduced terms to remain at Portman Road.

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But Jewell reiterated his stance over Jason Scotland maintaining the striker would be selected regardless of a contract clause that states he will get a new deal on the same terms if he makes 19 league starts this season.

With Scotland just three away from that target, he was surprisingly dropped in favour of Michael Chopra in Tuesday night’s fantastic win over West Ham.

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But Jewell quickly shot down any conspiracy theories and only spoke about the 32-year-old yesterday in glowing terms.

With 11 players’ futures still to be decided, the contract saga is likely to rumble on until the end of the season. The full list is Carson, Smith, Edwards, Scotland, club captain Grant Leadbitter, Richard Wright, Lee Bowyer, Ibrahima Sonko, Mark Kennedy and young duo Cody Cropper and Cormac Burke.

But Jewell seems untroubled by the repeat of last season’s fiasco, insisting: “If any players are doing really well here, we don’t let the contracts run out.”

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