TRANSFER LATEST: Time running out for Ipswich Town to sign Steve Davies
DERBY County boss Nigel Clough has warned Paul Jewell he is running out of patience over the Steve Davies saga.
The Rams boss has deliberately dropped last season’s top scorer for four consecutive friendlies, including tonight’s match at Colchester United, after expecting Davies to leave Pride Park.
Town are the favourites for the striker’s signature but with both managers still squabbling over the transfer fee, Davies could be back in a Derby shirt within days.
Clough revealed to the Derby Telegraph: “Nobody has really met our valuation.
“There will come a point where we will have to draw a line under it and he will be involved with us until at least January but we haven’t reached that point yet.
“If nothing has happened by early next week, we could see him play at Belper on Tuesday.
“We have to recognise the fact he might well be here until January, so we have to start getting him some games with a view to him being involved.
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“He has been doing all the physical work and the running but he does have to start getting some match fitness.
“He is still a good player and you have to remember, as well, we offered him a three-year contract a couple of months ago.
Clough added: “Steven not being with us is not a punishment because he turned the offer down or because he has asked to leave. We respect Steven’s decision but it has not been worth the risk to play him in the friendlies so far.
“The transfer window is open for another four weeks, so there is still plenty of time for something to happen.”
Clough appears to be giving Jewell an ultimatum over the 24-year-old and it might be that the Blues boss moves onto other targets before going back in for Davies in January, when a smaller fee would surely secure his services.
But with Ipswich starting their Championship season in just over two weeks time, the search for a bigger forward remains a top priority.
* What positions does Jewell still need to strengthen? Read Dave Gooderham thoughts at www.greenun24.co.uk/blogs