Sign or be sold – Ipswich Town set to adopt tough contract policy

IPSWICH Town manager Paul Jewell will adopt a tough ‘sign or be sold’ contract policy next season.

The Blues boss saw key duo Gareth McAuley and David Norris walk away on Bosman free transfers at the end of their deals last summer and admits the same thing could soon happen with club captain Grant Leadbitter.

Championship rivals Middlesbrough and Brighton have already been linked with the midfielder, who rejected a contract offer earlier in the campaign and has been locked in ongoing negotiations throughout the second half of the season.

Peterborough United decided to transfer list key duo George Boyd and Paul Taylor recently, deciding it was best to raise some money from their sales rather than risk losing them for nothing in a year’s time.

And that is a route that Jewell says he will now look to go down.

“I don’t want to get into a situation every year where we are having this conversation about contracts at the end of the season,” said Jewell.

“At the start of next season, we will sit down with the lads who have got a year to go, make them offers if we want to keep them and if they don’t accept then maybe we need to sell them. I think Peterborough have done that with a couple of their players recently.

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“You’re never going to be able to tie everyone down, but if ‘Player A’ turns down a deal with a year to go then maybe it is best for us that we try and sell him.”

Jewell, who is due to meet owner Marcus Evans next Tuesday to discuss contracts and his summer transfer budget, added: “We’ve made Grant an offer. I spoke with his agent yesterday and I’m going to have a chat with Grant again today (Thursday).

“We need to bottom it out I think. We want him to stay, but if he’s not going to stay we’ll have to make that public.

“There’s a lot of interest in Grant, but we’re in the box seat because he’s already here. I don’t know if he’s spoken to other clubs, but we’re hoping that he’s going to stay with us.”

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