Jim looking to boost his squad today

Blues boss Jim Magilton is looking to further boost his squad today by securing a second new loan deal ahead of Sunday's East Anglian derby.While Matthew Bates arrived as expected from Middlesbrough for Ipswich, Norwich snapped up Luke Chadwick and both teams are hoping to swell their ranks even further before the weekend.

By Derek Davis

Blues boss Jim Magilton is looking to further boost his squad today by securing a second new loan deal ahead of Sunday's East Anglian derby.

While Matthew Bates arrived as expected from Middlesbrough for Ipswich, Norwich snapped up Luke Chadwick and both teams are hoping to swell their ranks even further before the weekend.

Magilton was burning the midnight oil last night working to bring in a new loan signing - not Tommy Miller or John Halls - and is hoping to have the deal done this afternoon.


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Magilton said: “It will be a terrific loan signing if we can complete. Things are very close but we need a final agreement.”

Loan rules mean only five temporary players can play at any one time so, with Matthew Bates, Gary Roberts, Simon Walton and Jon Macken already available for selection, Magilton has to be careful who else he brings in, although Mark Noble returning to West Ham means he has a little more latitude.

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City boss Peter Grant wants at least one more player and is sweating on an answer from his former boss Alan Pardew, who in turn is waiting for a full fitness report on Noble, who returned from his three-month loan spell with a groin strain.

Noble's loan spell doesn't officially end until Saturday anyway and a deal is unlikely to be sanctioned in time for him to play at Portman Road, even if he agreed the switch.

Magilton won't commit on the Miller deal until he is certain about the fitness of Owen Garvan and Gavin Williams and he appreciates Sunderland may allow the midfielder to go elsewhere.

Like all other Championship bosses who had hoped to lure Alan Smith, Magilton will be disappointed, although probably not surprised to learn that the Manchester United and England striker doesn't want to go out on loan and will look to achieve full fitness in the reserves.

The Canaries swooped for Chadwick, who had a medical last night and will officially sign this morning.

The former Manchester United and West Ham winger is expected to make his debut on Sunday against Ipswich, the day after his 26th birthday.

Former England youth player Bates joined his new temporary team-mates for a double training session yesterday as the Blues prepare for Sunday's derby clash.

The 19-year-old said all the usual platitudes to the club website about how he was looking forward to his loan spell and hoped he did well enough to earn an extension in January but would have to wait and see how it went.

Bates, who gained notoriety on the Riverside after full frontal nude pictures he took of himself were posted onto the internet by a scorned ex-girlfriend and subsequently appeared in the national press, will be handed his debut against Norwich.

Magilton last night dismissed reports that Derby had joined Coventry City in the quest to sign Darren Currie on loan and added he won't allow the club's leading crosser to leave Portman Road until he is happy he has enough cover.

Young defender James Krause will spend a couple of days on trial with Carlisle United but probably not until after he has played in tomorrow night's reserve game at Northampton Town.

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