Stockdale ‘not for sale’

ENGLAND keeper David Stockdale may not have been snatched away from Ipswich Town yet, but one thing’s for sure – whatever happens – he won’t be staying beyond the end of the campaign.

Fears that Fulham would activate their 24-hour recall clause in Stockdale’s season-long deal were allayed yesterday when the Premier League club’s veteran custodian Mark Schwarzer announced that the back injury he sustained at the weekend was not serious.

However, while Stockdale will line-up between the sticks for Ipswich’s Championship trip to West Ham tonight, Blues boss Paul Jewell is already looking to replace him – whenever that time may come.

“Touch wood, we haven’t heard anything from Fulham,” said Jewell.

“We are completely at their mercy. We tried to get a clause in there where they could only recall him if they had no other goalies, but they weren’t having any of it.

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“Whether that be due to injury, loss of form, or whatever, they can recall him with 24 hours notice.

“I wouldn’t say we have a replacement lined up because that is very difficult, but we have targets and I think it’s really important we are pro-active in case anything happens.

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“We are watching a lot of keepers and trying to line someone up for next season because we know that Fulham won’t sell David Stockdale. I’m looking for a young keeper that can take us forward for the next few years.”

Fulham – who have a packed fixture list due to their involvement in the Europa League – have inexperienced 21-year-old Neil Etheridge as back-up at present.

Ipswich’s second choice keeper is Arran Lee-Barrett after both Marton Fulop and Brian Murphy departed on free transfers this summer.

– You can get interactive coverage of West Ham v Ipswich Town this evening by logging on to from 7.15pm. Updates from ITFC writers Stuart_Watson and Dave Gooderham will be included alongside those who cover the home side.

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