TRANSFER LATEST: Luke Chambers “very keen to come here” says Paul Jewell
PAUL Jewell is confident ex-Nottingham Forest defender Luke Chambers will be his second signing of the summer.
With the 26-year-old’s move to Portman Road still not confirmed, internet speculation has begun that it might break down with Derby County, Leeds United and even his old club Forest reportedly waiting in the wings.
But while not rubber-stamping the transfer, Jewell insisted: He’s very keen to come here and we’ve been speaking on the phone regularly over the last day or two. I’ve met Luke on a number of occasions over the summer to talk football.
“We’re very hopeful it will get done next week but until it’s signed, sealed and delivered, it’s not done. I’ve been in football long enough to know that there are a lot of factors in getting a player signed and I’ve learnt before that you can never be 100 per cent confident but I’m as certain as I can be at this stage that we’re almost there.”
Chambers had moved to reassure the Super Blues that he wasn’t holding out for a better deal after delaying his decision to team up with Jewell.
Speaking for the first time about his proposed move to Portman Road, the former Forest skipper admitted he was convinced by a heady mix of “tradition and ambition” at Ipswich.
And while he has been offered a competitive package by Town owner Marcus Evans, we can rubbish earlier reports that the 26-year-old would become the club’s highest earner on wages of around �15,000 a week.
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After a nervy few hours when the deal looked to be in jeopardy, Town are now very much the front-runners to land a key part of Jewell’s jigsaw for the new season.
Chambers confirmed: “I just needed some time to make my decision, because it is a big one. Like Forest, it is a good club, with good traditions and history. And they are ambitious.
“That was important for me. I wanted to go somewhere where they wanted to be successful. It sounds as though they want to give it a good go next season.”
Chambers passed his medical on Tuesday afternoon but talks appeared to stall a little after the player asked for more time to consider his options.
Fans were left with a nervy wait after seeing other top targets move elsewhere and with Leeds United apparently waiting in the wings to woo the former Nottingham Forest skipper.
But while Chambers suggested he would have been interested in signing a new deal and remaining at the City Ground, he insisted: “I am only talking seriously with one club.
“I like Nottingham, I have loved being at Forest and we like Nottingham as a family – it has felt as though it is my club and my home. I don’t particularly like the idea of uprooting my family to another city, of moving across the country. But sometimes you just have to do what is best.”