‘Jonas wants to keep his eye open for something else’ – Lambert on Knudsen future
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Ipswich Town boss Paul Lambert says he has set up a loan move for Leicester City left-back Callum Elder due to the fact that Jonas Knudsen has his ‘eye open for something else’ this January transfer window.
Elder, 23, has been training with the Blues since Boxing Day with view to joining the club when the transfer window opens tomorrow.
The Australian is yet to play for the Foxes, but was a regular for League One winners Wigan last season and had previous loan spells at Brentford (six appearances) and Barnsley (five appearances) in the Championship.
Danish international Knudsen has played 150 games for Town since joining from hometown club Esbjerg for £300k in 2015, but dropped to the bench for Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Middlesbrough.
“Obviously Jonas’ situation has been well documented – he’s in the last six months of his contract,” said Lambert.
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“Jonas’ representatives and himself have said they want to keep their eye open for something else, which is fine; that’s their prerogative to do that.
“I have to look at Ipswich Football Club because that’s the most important thing.
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“Myles (Kenlock) has done fantastically well for us, but I have to bring a left-back just in case Jonas does leave.
“I have to say Jonas has been great in training, there’s no problem with his commitment, but I have to look at what would happen if he does go.”
Asked if cashing in on Knudsen now rather than letting him go for nothing in the summer was the right thing to do for the long-term benefit of the club, Lambert replied: “It depends the way the football club uses it, whether it’s money that can be reinvested... If not, he can play here for the remainder.
“I’ve got to look at what’s right for Ipswich Town if he does go. We’d only have one left-back and that would mean trouble.
“This situation should have been sorted long before I came in.”
Asked if there had been any offers for Knudsen, who has been linked to Stoke and Middlesbrough as well clubs in Germany and Denmark, Lambert said: “If you’re going by his agent then I’m sure there will be a few offers, but nobody knows. Marcus (Evans) is shrewd enough to know that if we are going to let him go now then people have to make it worth our while. That goes without saying.
“Listen, I’m not silly, I know how the game works. I know exactly what goes around and what comes around. I’ve got to look after the football club.
“If somebody has got one eye on something else then we have to look.”
He added: “Jonas and I had the discussion. When someone goes into the last six months of their contract they can do what they want, but if that happens I need cover there, I need help there.
“He’s entitled to do what he wants, but this should have been taken care of with 12 months to go. It shouldn’t have gone into six months to go.
“The club has to look at that. You can’t keep letting contracts run down otherwise you keep having the same cycle where eight guys go and eight guys come in and you’re building team after team. It doesn’t work. It’s the wrong structure. That’s my opinion.
“If you keep getting loans, loans, loans, loans then you may as well throw you money in the street. It’s not normal. The club has to have a stable base form which to build.
“Maybe get one or two loans, no problem, but you can’t keep relying on ones that are not your own players.
“You can’t bring in eight or nine players one summer. That’s sheer madness.”