‘I don’t think it’s worked out very well for him’ – Lambert discusses future of wantaway left-back Jonas Knudsen
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Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert says there has still be no interest in wantaway left-back Jonas Knudsen – and has not completely ruled out the Danish defender returning to the team if he remains at the club beyond tonight’s 11pm transfer deadline.
Knudsen, who is set to be out of contract this summer, hasn’t been picked for the last seven games after informing Lambert that he ‘had his eye on something else’.
The 26-year-old has been linked to Championship rivals Middlesbrough and Stoke, as well as clubs in Germany and Denmark.
“Jonas has always been really fine with me and there’s no problem or ill feeling there,” said Lambert.
“He wanted to have his eye on something else and that’s not really materialised. Maybe his agents should have a chat with him.
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“It’s more on Jonas’s agents’ side because they are probably the ones who have advised him what’s right and what’s wrong.
“It’s up to Jonas to make the choice but I don’t think it’s worked out very well for him.
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Knudsen was a regular starter when Lambert first arrived. Asked whether there was any way back for him, the Blues boss – who has signed left-back Callum Elder on loan from Leicester and given game-time to Myles Kenlock recently – replied: “The thing is Jonas was playing the games under me. Then the contract thing got thrown at me and I thought ‘where are we with this?’
“I had a chat with him and said ‘listen, what are you thinking?’ The lad was brutally honest, which I’ve got no problem with; he’s a nice kid.
“He said he wanted to look at something else. That puts me in a position where I’m thinking ‘do I play somebody who is not going to be here in the summer?’ It was a dangerous situation we found ourselves in.
“What’s happened now is it’s gone full circle. There’s been nobody come in.
“Jonas is entitled to see it through – his contract is up in the summer and that’s his prerogative – but I had to protect the club.
“I think what’s happened is the full circle has gone against Jonas and his representative. I would have thought he’d have had something concrete by now, but as I sit here now there’s been not one call.”
When it was put to Lambert that, regardles sof what happens today, nothing really changes if Knudsen has made it clear that he still wants to leave in the summer, the Blues boss said: “Absolutely, nothing changes, you’re 100% right.”
So does that mean that the Dane can’t return to the team?
“You never say never,” said Lambert. “While he is contracted to the club he’s this club’s player, the club pay him, he’s a footballer, so that doesn’t change.
“I will never say ‘no, you’re never playing again’. That’s not the scenario at all.
“But it’s maybe not fair on other players if somebody is going to move and other lads are really at it. There has to be a bit of fairness.
“If something happens it happens, but as I speak to you it’s not.
“Maybe the agent thought people were coming in, I really don’t know, but it’s not materialised.”