Town teen turns down offer to stay at Ipswich

CALLUM Bennett, the only Town academy scholar to be recently offered professional terms, has turned down Ipswich Town’s offer of a one-year deal.

Blues boss Paul Jewell yesterday revealed the 19-year-old right-back had rejected the club’s initial offer, citing the fact he wanted “longer and better terms”.

Ipswich-born Bennett has also attracted interest from League One clubs and might feel his chances of first-team football might improve elsewhere.

When asked about the latest situation with Bennett, Jewell said: “He’s refused the contract, which is his right.

“We would like to keep Callum because we think he’s a good prospect, but he’s refused the offer and we’ll have to see where that takes us.

“There has been a bit of interest from a couple of League One clubs, his agent tells me. He’s well within his rights to say no.

“He was offered a one-year deal, but his representatives wanted longer and better terms, which I understand. Simon Clegg (Town chief executive) is dealing with that.”

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The situation mirrors that of former youth striker Caolan Lavery who left Ipswich earlier in the season after wanting a longer deal – leaving both Jewell and academy staff disappointed.

And Jewell said of Bennett: “I don’t want to discuss individual issues, but I’m old-fashioned and I always think the chance to be a professional footballer is a great opportunity.

“I understand his parents want the best for him though and I 100% agree with that.”