TRANSFER LATEST: Connor Wickham is not a transfer target, says Paul Jewell

IPSWICH Town manager Paul Jewell has once again played down speculation linking Connor Wickham with a return to Portman Road on loan.

The Blues boss has said in the past that he would always be interested in bringing the striker back to the club if the situation was right.

When selling the teenager to Sunderland for an initial �8.1m last summer, Town included a clause which meant they would have first refusal on the teenager should the Premier League club choose to loan him out. However, Jewell revealed recently that they would have to pay 75% of his wages – something he felt would prevent a deal.

With Wickham having made just six starts for the Black Cats in his debut campaign, manager Martin O’Neill said recently that he may look to loan out some of his younger players.

Speculation was further fuelled by Sunderland signing striker Louis Saha yesterday, but Jewell was quick to play it down.

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He said: “We never close the door on anything, but have got other targets at the moment.”

With the Blues boss keen to make permanent additions rather than too many loan signings, he later added: “I want players here for the long term; people who buy houses here and settle in the area. That’s what we’re after.

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“It’s been a bit of shift in policy from last year, but I think that’s the right way forward.

“This is a great club, has great supporters and we want the players who come here to be part of the community rather than just taking a last pay day.

“I’m not degrading the lads who came here last season, but we do now want to build for the future. It’s not a quick fix, it’s a long-term job.”

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