Norwood set to stay... despite seven clubs showing interest
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James Norwood looks set to remain at Ipswich Town beyond the January transfer window, despite seven different clubs showing an interest in his signature.
The 31-year-old striker was banished to the Under-23s and transfer-listed last October, the club's hierarchy deciding his rumbustious personality was simply not for them.
He was allowed to return to the fold in December though, after manager Paul Cook had been sacked following a poor run of form, and subsequently scored four times in six games to take his overall tally for the Blues to an impressive 26 goals in 49 starts and 23 sub appearances.
The EADT and Ipswich Star understands that Championship club Preston, as well as League One outfits Wigan, Plymouth, Oxford United, Portsmouth, Charlton and Lincoln, have all made enquiries, with chief executive Mark Ashton leaving the decision on the front man's future in the hands of manager Kieran McKenna.
McKenna may have dropped Norwood for Saturday's 2-1 home win against Accrington, but he has been glowing in his praise of the striker, stating that his 'attitude on the pitch has been infectious' and that 'he’s been a good influence around the group'.
Norwood, meanwhile, has always made it clear he wishes to remain in Suffolk and earn himself a longer stay. His current contract expires this summer, though the club do have the option to extend that by a further 12 months.
With the likes of Sone Aluko, Tom Carroll, Kayden Jackson, Jon Nolan and Tomas Holy also coming towards the end of their current deals, McKenna said: "We’re in dialogue about that (contracts), but I don’t think it’s the time yet to start talking too much about the squad for next season and what the balance might look like. It’s a little early for that because we want to look at this season and the players here now, as well as January.
“A little further down the line is the time to talk about next season and the players and squad we might like going into it.”
Toto Nsiala (sold to Fleetwood) and Myles Kenlock (loaned to Colchester) have both departed Portman Road this month. Rekeem Harper and Idris El Mizouni have both been made available for loan, while Tomas Holy and Jon Nolan could both move on as they near the end of their deals.
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* Known 12-month extension option
LOANS: Coulson, Bakinson, Celina, Bonne
2022: Holy, Kenlock*, Clements*, Carroll*, Nolan, Aluko*, Norwood*, Jackson
2023: Vincent-Young*, Donacien*, Penney*
2024: Walton*, Hladky, Woolfenden*, Burgess*, Morsy, Evans, Fraser, Harper*, El Mizouni*, Burns, Edwards*, Chaplin, Pigott, Walton*