Town allow quintet to fight for future

WITH no interest being shown for the five transfer-listed players Jim Magilton is ready to wipe the slate clean and allow them to fight for their Blues future.

Derek Davis

WITH no firm interest being shown for the five transfer-listed players Jim Magilton is ready to wipe the slate clean and allow them to fight for their Blues future.

Gavin Williams, Dan Harding, Gary Roberts, Matt Richards and Billy Clarke, were all told at the end of last season that they free to find another club.

There was interest shown in Roberts from his old club Accrington Stanley, however no deal has been done.

Brighton were keen on keeping Richards after his successful loan spell at the Withdean, but new manager Micky Adams has not made a move as yet.

That means, unless a deal is done before June 25, all the players will return for pre-season training and looking to change the manager's mind.

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Magilton will not freeze any of them out and will allow them to fight for places.

He said: “There has been no contact from other clubs about the players we have made available but it is still early days.

“We spoke to the players concerned at the end of last season and allowing them to leave the club at the right price is all about giving them the opportunity to play first-team football elsewhere.

“I can't guarantee they are going to get that here, but if nothing changes during pre-season then they will get the opportunity to show me they have a future at Ipswich Town.

“But if we get an offer that is right for the player and right for the club, then we will move them on.”

Magilton has been looking to clear the decks to make room for a clutch of new signings including a goalkeeper, two, or three, central defenders, a left-back and a centre-forward.

Heerenveen centre-half Pim Balkestein is expected to complete his £180,000 move next week, with Town keen to secure Gareth McAuley from Leicester City.

Although Foxes chief executive Paul Aldridge has left and been replaced by American Lee Hoos, Town don't believe it will affect their attempts to land the Irishman.

Sito Castro and Dean Bowditch were not offered new contracts, but while the Spaniard has gone Magilton is still considering what to do about the young striker who was loaned out to Northampton and Brighton last season.

Jason de Vos and Sylvain Legwinski have retired while Fabian Wilnis is doing his coaching badges and looking to carry on playing if possible.