Scotland and Edwards growing frustrated with club’s contract stalling

TRINIDADIAN duo Carlos Edwards and Jason Scotland look to be on their way out of Portman Road.

The EADT and Evening Star understands that contract talks with the club were requested more than three months ago, but that chief executive Simon Clegg has only recently responded via e-mail.

Both players are keen to remain at the club, but – with less than six months of their current deals to run – are now beginning to question how much they are wanted.

With the New Year under way, interested parties can now begin negotiations with the pair over a Bosman free transfer switch come the end of the season.

American club LA Galaxy are believed to be weighing up a move for versatile right-back Edwards, while Blackpool may come back in for striker Scotland following their failed attempts to sign him last August.

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Jewell admitted this week that he has got the mix of experience and youth all wrong after bringing a host of ageing players to the club last summer. And he now plans on redressing the balance by signing some ‘young and hungry’ players during this month’s transfer window.

One of the Championship’s biggest wage budgets will have to be carefully managed though – especially with the threat of relegation a very real one at present – meaning some top earners may have to make way.

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Edwards – who turned down a reduced money deal at the end of last season – and Scotland both fall within that bracket. And aged 33 and 32 respectively, could be victims of a squad revamping.

Jewell has 16 players in the final six months of their contracts at present. And while he revealed that negotiations are ongoing with captain Grant Leadbitter and Josh Carson, he was rather more non-committal when asked about Scotland and Edwards.

“I have to be honest about it, we haven’t spoke to those particular players since last year,” said the Blues boss, whose side are at fellow Championship club Hull today in the FA Cup third round.

“We will be speaking to them – but both of them are 33 now.

“We did offer Carlos a new contract last year but he chose to turn it down. It’s not like we haven’t tried on that one.”

Jewell did confirm that youngster Shane O’Connor will not be offered a new deal. When asked if there would be others that would be released at the end of their contracts next summer, he replied ‘yes’. When asked if he would reveal who they were, he said ‘not before I tell them’. When asked if they would be youngsters like O’Connor, he said ‘not necessarily’.

Jewell will hoping that his players – despite uncertainty over many of their futures – can still help to pull Town away from the relegation zone in the second half of the season.

Ipswich saw key duo Gareth McAuley and David Norris leave on Bosman deals last summer after delaying over contract talks.

– See today’s EADT and Evening Star for full match preview.

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