Tony Pulis won’t stand in Danny Higginbotham’s way over Ipswich Town permanent move

STOKE City boss Tony Pulis has opened the door to defender Danny Higginbotham joining Ipswich Town on a permanent deal.

The 33-year-old has made an instant impact for the Blues, becoming an assured and vocal presence in the heart of the defence in the last two matches.

Having already admitted his time at Stoke will be over at the end of the season, when his existing contract runs out, Higginbotham could now be possibly moving as early as January to a new club.

Pulis told the Stoke Sentinel: “He’s a great lad, a great ambassador for this club and one of the bedrocks it has been built on.

“But I understand his wish to be playing, especially at this stage of his career, so if I can help him I certainly will.

“We should never forget the contribution made by Danny, both on and off the field, and I certainly won’t.”

Speaking when he signed last month, Higginbotham said he would be willing to extend his loan spell at Portman Road – something that can be done for a further two months under the 93-day rule.

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He explained: “It is something that was done initially and come the end of the month, if the club are happy with me and I am enjoying it, then hopefully it can be extended.

“I have not really spoken in general with Tony (Pulis) but I am into my last year at Stoke and I honestly believe that time has come to an end.

“I have no hard feelings about that – I know when it is right to move on. Hopefully, I can get something sorted come the end of the season. I would consider the Championship, without a doubt.”

* Meanwhile, fellow centre-back Danny Gabbidon has admitted he chose a move to Crystal Palace over interest from Ipswich and divisional rivals Nottingham Forest.

Gabbidon told the Croydon Advertiser: “I had offers from Ipswich Town and Nottingham Forest, who wanted me to go up and train with them, but it just didn’t seem right with Forest as I wasn’t sure they were totally committed and interested in me really.

“I worked with Lennie Lawrence (assistant boss) when I was at Cardiff and Dougie (Freedman – manager) is young, fresh and has good ideas.”