Portsmouth bids set to go down to the wire

IPSWICH Town’s bid for three Portsmouth players will go down to the last 48 hours of the January transfer window.

Top targets Jason Pearce and Joel Ward are expected to play for Pompey in their Championship match against Peterborough tomorrow while the Blues remain very tight-lipped on reports that the third bid is for keeper Stephen Henderson.

In truth, the cash-strapped South Coast club have no choice but to play their senior members with a depleted side expected to travel to East Anglia.

Whether it turns out to be Pearce and Ward’s last match for Portsmouth remains to be seen, but Town fans will watch events at London Road with interest after Town this week made an offer close to �2 million for the trio.

Negotiations are ongoing between the divisional rivals and discussions could intensify following tomorrow afternoon’s match.

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Town are bracing themselves for a frantic final few days of the transfer window, which closes at 11pm on Tuesday night – just after the Blues’ clash with table-toppers West Ham.

This gives Jewell very little time for a Plan B should he fail with his triple bid, although the repeated offers for Ward and Pearce suggest they are his top priorities.

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Jewell – as well as Town fans – will also have to be patient with developments for young Scottish defender Murray Wallace.

Ipswich are one of a number of clubs who have had a bid accepted for the 19-year-old but Jewell will have to wait until after the weekend to talk to Wallace who is expected to line up for Falkirk in their Scottish League Cup semi-final against Celtic.

The match kicks off at 3pm and is live on BBC Scotland and the BBC Sport website.

Of the Wallace developments, Jewell said: “We have had a bid accepted by Falkirk for the lad. I spoke to Stephen Pressley (Falkirk boss) yesterday and he’s a lad that we have been watching for a while.

“We face a lot of competition for him. I know Brighton are keen and there are two or three other clubs as well. He’s got a big game for Falkirk against Celtic on Sunday and then he will be coming down to see us. There is a long way to go yet but we are in there fighting.”

With Crawley striker Tyrone Barnett also on Jewell’s radar, it promises to be an interesting few days – and one that could turn the tide both for and against the Town manager.

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