Jim given go-ahead to make first signing

IPSWICH boss Jim Magilton has been given the go-ahead to make his first signing.Magilton has already drawn up a shortlist of potential targets and might even have the new man on board by the time the Town players return for pre-season training next Monday.

By Mel Henderson

IPSWICH boss Jim Magilton has been given the go-ahead to make his first signing.

Magilton has already drawn up a shortlist of potential targets and might even have the new man on board by the time the Town players return for pre-season training next Monday.

Despite the club's on-going financial problems, there is cash available for the manager to spend and not rely entirely on scanning the free transfer market for reinforcements.

And, depending on how much is raised by the share issue currently under way, Magilton may also be able to recruit additional players ahead of the big kick-off.

“We already have a few irons in the fire,” said the skipper-turned-manager, who is reluctant to pinpoint the exact areas of his squad he is keen to strengthen as a matter of priority.

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He added: “It would be unfair to anyone who is in the squad at the moment if I talked about specific positions at this stage.

“We have 20-odd pros and as far as I am concerned all positions are up for grabs, but for the time being the funds are in place to bring in one new player.

“The share issue might give me a few extra quid and it would be great if I could bring in three or four new players ahead of the start of the season.

“But at least we are in the market for players and if there is one that we really fancy, who is within our price range, we could do business sooner rather than later.”

Town are keen to underline their ambition to compete in the Championship, hoping that it might in turn enhance season ticket sales that have, unsurprisingly, suffered slightly this year.

Although Magilton is playing his cards close to his chest, he did not dismiss the idea of Jamie Clapham returning to Portman Road after being released by Birmingham following their relegation from the Premiership.

He said: “Jamie possesses a lot of the qualities that we are interested in but there has been no contact with him.

“It all depends on certain factors and any manager's first signing is important. We are doing our homework, you can be sure of that.”

Meanwhile, Magilton is giving teenage defenders Aidan Collins and Gerard Nash an opportunity to earn reprieves after they were both released by previous boss Joe Royle.

But midfielder Jimmy Juan, who was on loan at Ipswich from Monaco for the entire 2005-2006 campaign, has signed a three-year contract at French Second Division side Grenoble.

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