Sharp will cost �3.25m - will the Blues cough up?

THE price has been set – now all Ipswich Town have to do is cough up the cash and persuade striker Billy Sharp that their ambitions match his.

Blues boss Paul Jewell had a �2.3m bid for the goalscorer publicly rejected by fellow Championship club Doncaster

Rovers earlier this summer.

Every player has a price though and it is understood that the south Yorkshire side, who yesterday signed a potential replacement striker in Chris Brown, have decided that �3.25m would be simply too good to refuse.

Southampton are believed to have had an offer of that value accepted for Sharp this week only for the frontman – who has scored 15 goals for a struggling side in each of his last two seasons – to reject the move.

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The 25-year-old has openly admitted his ambitions of playing in the Premier League and clearly does not feel the Saints, who have only just been promoted back to the Championship, can guarantee that within the timeframe he is looking for.

Jewell confirmed this week that he is still waiting to hear back from a club as to whether his bid for a striker has been accepted.

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And with the Liverpudlian letting slip that ‘if you bid �3m you’re going to get knocked back’, speculation is rife that his description of an ‘opening bid’ is a red herring and that interest in Sharp has indeed been renewed.

If that was the case it would all come down to Jewell, owner Marcus Evans and chief executive Simon Clegg’s powers of persuasion.

Selling the Portman Road promotion plan to Sharp shouldn’t be too hard though, with established players such as Michael Chopra

and Lee Bowyer already on board.

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