Town rebuffed in search for defender

IPSWICH Town have been rebuffed in their efforts to land Gareth McAuley from Leicester City.The Blues made a bid for the Northern Ireland defender earlier this week but the Foxes have told them he is not for sale.

Derek Davis

IPSWICH Town have been rebuffed in their efforts to land Gareth McAuley from Leicester City.

The Blues made a bid for the Northern Ireland defender earlier this week but the Foxes have told them he is not for sale.

Town manager Jim Magilton is an admirer of both McAuley and his defensive partner Patrick Kisnorbo but knew he had no chance of landing the City skipper, so made a cheeky bid to try and sign the former Larne-born man who he knows from the Irish team.


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But City boss Ian Holloway has been busy bringing in new players and is determined to hang on to his stars.

Former Norwich City defender Darren Kenton was allowed to leave for Leeds United and he was named among seven players told they could go by Holloway last month.

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McAuley was not among them and, with Milan Mandaric backing him, Holloway does not have to sell.

McAuley, who joined Leicester from Lincoln as a free agent in June, 2006, impressed against the Blues earlier this season in their 2-0 win at the Walkers' Stadium. He also scored twice against Town last February when City also won 2-0.

Town are still hoping to land at least two other targets with Luton's David Bell still interesting them greatly, as revealed by the EADT last week.

David Norris is known to be one definite target, although Leicester and Norwich are also known to want him.

Plymouth have been especially active in the transfer market and are hoping to sign midfielder Chris Clark and defender Michael Hart from Aberdeen, while losing top scorer Sylvan Ebanks-Blake to Wolves to triggered a clause in his contract meaning he could go for £1.5m.

Argyle have also lost Dan Golsing to Everton, Barry Hayles to Leicester - who are said to be keen on right back Paul Connolly as well and this could affect Norris. Equally the Pilgrims are determined not to lose their skipper although a £2m bid would test their resolve.

Sheffield United have snapped up Lee Martin in a £1.5m switch from Manchester United and that could end the Blades' interest in Blackpool's Wes Hoolahan who Town are interested in.

In one of the busiest transfer windows so far there have been almost 60 transfers involving Championship clubs and there are still three weeks before the deadline.

Reports in northern Scotland have linked Town with an interest in Aberdeen striker Lee Miller who has been subject of a bid from Blackpool but they appear to be wide of the mark.

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