TRANSFER LATEST: Paul Jewell “very, very hopeful” over Guirane N’Daw signing

PAUL Jewell has today confirmed he hopes to tie up a season-long loan deal with Sengalese international midfielder Guirane N’Daw before the weekend.

The 28-year-old from St Etienne will have a medical at Portman Road this afternoon and Jewell admitted he was “very, very hopeful” of N’Daw signing tomorrow.

But the 6ft 3ins powerhouse, who spoke to Jewell this morning, is unlikely to feature against Blackpool on Saturday.

Jewell, who confirmed N’Daw’s agent had been discussing terms with chief executive Simon Clegg today, said: “As far as I am aware, everything is agreed with St Etienne for him to come on loan for the season.

“He is having the medical this afternoon. That doesn’t mean he is signing, but we are very, very hopeful.

“Hopefully, by this time tomorrow, everything will be done and dusted. Even if it is, I don’t think he will be available for Saturday.”

While N’Daw will provide a much-needed physical presence to the Town squad, Jewell stressed that the 39-cap midfielder would not be guaranteed a starting spot.

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The Blues boss said: “It is an area where we are light and small, set-plays can often find us out.

“We need to add a bit of power and strength to the squad. But whoever comes in doesn’t automatically mean he is going to come straight into the team - that place has to be earned.”

Jewell said N’Daw had been on his radar for most of the summer after speaking with Norwich City boss Chris Hughton – who managed the midfielder on a season-long loan deal at Birmingham City last season.

He is one we have been tracking for a while and Chris speaks very highly of him,” Jewell added.

“I think when he was in their team, their results were very good. I remember seeing him against West Ham when he was outstanding before getting injured.

“He never played against us because he was injured, but he is a good player and strong.

“I guess he can play centre-back but we see him as a midfield player. We have some good midfield players here, but we just want to add competition and help the group.”

N’Daw has been capped 39 times for Senegal and has predominantly spent his career in France with Sochaux, Nantes and St Etienne. He made 29 appearances for Birmingham last season, impressing in the first half of the campaign but struggling after returning from the Africa Cup of Nations in January.

Jewell refused to discuss rumours linking the club with a move for Reading striker Simon Church and said the Blues had received no more calls from Aston Villa about left-back Aaron Cresswell.