Town refuse to speak as Bruce stalls

IPSWICH Town have refused to comment on reports that Alex Bruce will be turning down the offer of a new two-year contract.

Elvin King

By ELVIN KING

IPSWICH Town have refused to comment on reports that Alex Bruce will be turning down the offer of a new two-year contract.

The 24-year-old fans' favourite is due to leave Portman Road by the close of the January window.

He is earmarked to play at the heart of the Blues defence in the Coca-Cola Championship fixture at Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Bruce is interesting a rival Championship club - not likely to be Norwich City - and the indications are that he does not intend signing the offer by Town to extend his contract beyond June.

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His agent Mike Morris has confirmed receipt of the offer, but it is by no means certain that Bruce will be signing it.

Morris is thought to have discussed the terms of the new deal directly with Blues owner Marcus Evans - a new development in Town player dealings and a sign that Evans is now playing a more hands-on role at Portman Road.

Bruce was told by Town chief executive Derek Bowden last week that a new deal was in the offing, and this was made public by the club on Monday.

But they refused to comment further last night other than a club spokesman to say: “We have a month of speculation ahead and we will not be drawn into commenting on reports in the media on players.

“In the last two days there have eight players linked with us.

“We will make a comment when the time is right, and when there is something our fans will be the first to know.”

With his current contract running out in less than six months, Bruce is at liberty to talk to other clubs, and it is understood that a promotion-chasing Championship rival are very much in the hunt.

He was given the nod by Town manager Jim Magilton over Moritz Volz to fill the right back spot against Sheffield Wednesday last weekend with David Wright out of action with a hamstring problem.

Bruce has signed two suspensions this season - a total of seven games - after collecting two red cards, but his wholehearted approach has made him a big favourite at Portman Road and he is still emerging as a defender of genuine quality.

He has always said that he wants to stay with the Blues, but the indications are that he feels his career would be better served elsewhere.

elvin.king@archant.co.uk

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