UPDATED: Transfer attempts are hanging by a thread

IPSWICH Town manager Paul Jewell admits his attempts to strengthen his relegation-battling squad ahead of tomorrow’s 11pm deadline could go either way.

The Blues boss has made a bid for three Portsmouth players – believed to be keeper Stephen Henderson, centre-back Jason Pearce and the versatile Joel Ward. That situation continues to be complicated by the unsure financial situation at the south coast club though.

A fee has also been agreed with Scottish second tier side Falkirk for 19-year-old centre-back Murray Wallace in a move which would see the teenager loaned straight back for the rest of this campaign.

However, the youngster has also spoken to Brighton and – having been to look around Ipswich Town’s facilities this morning – is due to hold talks with some more clubs today.

“I’ve just spoken to the owner (Marcus Evans) after training,” said Jewell this lunchtime.

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“It’s difficult because we are not sure who we should be talking to at Portsmouth) – the administrator or the chief exec.

“We’ve made an offer for three Portsmouth players last week – the names I don’t want to divulge because I don’t think that’s right – that was rejected and the clubs are still talking.

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“Whether we get one player, whether we get two players or whether we get three players is still up in the air.

“Complicated is not the word. It’s unbelievable – it’s complicated to the nth degree.”

Speaking of Wallace – a fee of around �300,000 understood to have been agreed – Jewell added: “He’s been up here this morning, but he’s got a few clubs to talk to.

“He’s a young lad and it’s a big decision for him. I know he’s been to Brighton and he’s going to a couple of places after us.

“He’s probably not ready to go into a Championship side just yet, but he will be in the future. We’d like him here, but whether that happens is down to a lot of factors.”

Jewell admitted he was happy for Wallace to take some time weighing up the club’s bid against rival offers and confirmed that the defender would return to Falkirk on loan until the rest of the season, if he signed for Town.

He said: “I think that is what’s going to happen, wherever he goes. I think that will be beneficial to the player. He is not quite ready to play Championship football, but I think he will be.

“I think he will develop more playing against men in a tough league that he is playing in. He played yesterday against Celtic, which was probably the toughest game he has ever played in, and he will learn more.

“There is a few in for him and whether we get him is debatable. We have shown him round and it is now up to the lad. But we don’t want to rush him – he is only a young boy. He wants to make the right decision and I respect that.”

And of the transfer deadline day falling at the same time as an important Championship match, Jewell added: “It’s ridiculous that we are playing tomorrow night (home versus West Ham) when the deadline is 11 o’clock. The transfer window just forces everything into a bottle neck really.

“I think it’s important that you try for the players you want and not just sign players because we are in the situation that we find ourselves in.

“We do have alternatives for the loan market, but I want to bring in players that can be here for the long run.”

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