Jim is keen for Boro defender to return

BLUES boss Jim Magilton wants to bring back Middlesbrough defender Matt Bates for a season-long loan in August.The England Under-21 full-back impressed on his Town debut in the 3-1 win over Norwich City last November, before seriously damaging cruciate and medial ligaments in the last-minute defeat at Barnsley the following game.

By Derek Davis

BLUES boss Jim Magilton wants to bring back Middlesbrough defender Matt Bates for a season-long loan in August.

The England Under-21 full-back impressed on his Town debut in the 3-1 win over Norwich City last November, before seriously damaging cruciate and medial ligaments in the last-minute defeat at Barnsley the following game.

The Blues have been tracking his progress from that injury and Magilton revealed that he plans to bring him back to Portman Road.


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Magilton said: “Matt Bates is one I really like and we have kept in contact with him. If he comes through the pre-season fit and well and it is on, then we would have him back in the building.”

Bates has made steady progress since going back to the Riverside and Gareth Southgate is understood to be keen for him to get some more experience under his belt once he has reached match fitness. The 20-year-old has expressed a willingness to be back at Ipswich. The defender was recommended to Blues chairman David Sheepshanks by England boss Steve McClaren at the beginning of last season.

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And Bates will not be the only long-term loanee at Ipswich if Magilton gets his way - he has already put his marker down for a couple of Premiership starlets.

Magilton said: “If I feel we need a little injection of something then I will be going into the loan market again. I have earmarked one or two players and have made phone calls to Premier League clubs already.”

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