TRANSFER NEWS: Bradley Orr extends his stay, as Jason Scotland, Ronan Murray and Josh Carson prepare to exit
THE future of a number of Ipswich Town players has become a lot clearer today following Mick McCarthy’s pre-match press conference for Saturday’s trip to Championship table-toppers Cardiff City.
The Blues boss revealed that keeper Stephen Henderson has returned to parent club West Ham after injuring his ankle in training. The Irishman – whose deal was due to expire after the weekend anyway – is set to be out for at least two weeks, meaning Scott Loach will retain his place in goal at the weekend following an impressive performance at Aston Villa in the last Saturday’s spirited 2-1 defeat in the third round of the FA Cup.
McCarthy is undecided as to whether to extend Henderson’s loan at Town once he returns to fitness as the Hammers would insist that the move would once again have to include a 24-hour recall clause.
Nottingham Forest goalkeeper Lee Camp has been linked with a move to Town this week after reportedly being told he can leave the East Midlands club. New Forest boss Alex McLeish is understood to be closing in on the addition of QPR keeper Rob Green.
Asked if Henderson would be returning to Portman Road, McCarthy said: “He may do, although he could be out for a couple of weeks with his ankle. But I keep saying it leaves me a little bit exposed bearing in mind he’s got a 24-hour recall.
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“I’ll talk to Sam Allardyce about that. Hendo wants to come back and I want to have him back, but the recall leaves me exposed. I understand it from West Ham’s point of view and they understand mine, they can’t take it out of it and I’d like to have one that’s mine to be used and not to be going back anywhere.”
Right-back Bradley Orr’s loan spell from Blackburn had been due to expire on January 26, but McCarthy has extended that until the end of the season. The 30-year-old will return to the Blues’ starting line-up at Cardiff, despite teenager Elliott Hewitt having impressed on his full debut against Villa.
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“They (Blackburn) have agreed to extend to the end of the season,” said McCarthy, when asked about Orr.
“He’s got at least two years left on his deal there. It’ll all depend on what the deal is, but I like him (in the summer) and he’s done well. I think he brings something to it, he’s a good personality around the place.”
In terms of a longer stay, the Blues boss says Orr has “at least two” years remaining on his Blackburn contract and he’ll see how things develop in the summer: “It’ll all depend on what the deal is, but I like him and he’s done well. I think he brings something to it, he’s a good personality around the place.
Saturday is the last game that midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker is available for before his short-term contract expires. McCarthy is hopeful that a new deal can be struck with the former West ham and Villa player, with owner Marcus Evans currently negotiating with the 28-year-old’s agent.
McCarthy said: “I’ve spoken to Nigel, I’d like to just keep the status quo the same and keep him until the end of the season.”
Meanwhile, the Blues boss confirmed that veteran striker Jason Scotland is available for transfer. The arrivals of David McGoldrick, Aaron McLean and Frank Nouble over the last week has taken the number of strikers at the club to 10.
As a result, 33-year-old Scotland – who has made just one substitute appearance under McCarthy and is in the final year of his contract – has been transfer listed. The former Trinidad and Tobago international has been linked with loan moves to Brighton and Wolves, but McCarthy says the club has received no interest as of yet.
“Jason is likely to be going somewhere,” said McCarthy. “He’s been fabulous, Jason, he’s such a lovely character and a nice man, he’s been great around the place.
“But we’re going younger and hungrier, I guess, and unfortunately Jason’s missing out. But he understands and he’d like to go and play football somewhere in the twilight of his career.”
The Blues boss says young Irish striker Ronan Murray – who has just one first team start for the Blues to his name – is currently on his way to Plymouth to join the League Two side on loan.
And he also confirmed that winger Josh Carson is available for loan, with a couple of clubs having shown interest.
“They’ll both be going out on loan,” said McCarthy. “Ronan’s going out on loan, he’s on his way down to Plymouth at the moment.
“With Josh, there are a couple of clubs who would like to take him – we’ll wait and see what happens.”
– See tomorrow’s EADT for all the latest Blues news, including interviews with new boys David McGoldrick and Frank Nouble.