‘We didn’t handle Norris negotiations well’ - Jewell

IPSWICH Town manager Paul Jewell admits that the club has not handled negotiations with skipper David Norris over a new contract as well as they could have done.

He is doing all he can to hold on to the 30-year-old whose current deal runs out in June having been told by Norris’ agent to plan without him for 2011/12 with other offers on the table.

Norris has indicated to Jewell that he would like to stay and has asked the manager to talk further to his agent, which Jewell plans to do.

“David’s contract issue should have dealt with earlier,” said Jewell.

“A decent offer was made to him a while ago, but perhaps there was not enough direct dialogue between the two parties before I arrived here.”

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If Norris does leave in the summer they will get no return for a proven Championship player former manager Jim Magilton paid Plymouth �2 million for in January 2008.

This has to be rated as poor business regardless of understandable desires in December to protect the financial situation if Town were to find themselves in League One next term.

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Portsmouth have already made it public that they expect to sign Norris in the summer so Ipswich could lose a significant transfer fee and an inspirational player to a possible big promotion rival.

A frustrated Jewell has not given up on Norris yet and he added: “If something can be done at this stage I would love to keep David here.

“But his agent says that he has got two offers and if they are mind blowing ones that take into account that there will be no fee to pay who can blame David for signing a deal that will set him and his family up for life.”

Jewell and chief executive Simon Clegg spent time in Dublin with club owner Marcus Evans towards the end last month.

“With that meeting and reaching 49 points after our last game against Scunthorpe I know what my budget is and I have to work with that,” added Jewell, who praised the professionalism of Norris plus others like Gareth McAuley and Damien Delaney who have also been left in limbo over contracts.

Offers that are for two years but can stretch to three have been made to central defenders McAuley and Delaney and Jewell is hoping that he will hear back positively from both.

“All three have not sulked and been outstanding professionals,” added Jewell.

“They’ve been brilliant and I want to keep all the good players that I’ve currently got here.”

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