Macken wrangle

JON Macken's future continues to lie in the balance this morning with confusion surrounding about who is to decide where he ends up.Blues boss Jim Magilton says he wants to keep the striker and is waiting to hear from Crystal Palace boss Peter Taylor, who in turn claims he has yet to hear from the Ipswich boss.

By Derek Davis

JON Macken's future continues to lie in the balance this morning with confusion surrounding about who is to decide where he ends up.

Blues boss Jim Magilton says he wants to keep the striker and is waiting to hear from Crystal Palace boss Peter Taylor, who in turn claims he has yet to hear from the Ipswich boss.

Macken is stuck in the middle waiting to hear what the clubs decide before making his own mind up about staying at Portman Road.


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The former Preston and Manchester City goal-getter has managed three goals in 13 games for the Blues. It could be that if Town want to keep him they will have to sign him permanently with Palace not showing any signs that they want to keep him at Selhurst Park, or allow him to extend his loan spell.

There are also hurdles to overcome for Magilton in his bid to capture Cork City's former Player of the Year George O'Callaghan.

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The Town boss insists negotiations for a deal are still ongoing but the Rebels boss Damien Richardson has briefed the Irish press by saying Town only want him on loan and they are not prepared to allow that.

The Eircom side are looking for a fee for O'Callaghan, whose contract runs out in November, and believe Ipswich should have made their minds up about the 27-year-old after he has spent much of the past three months training with him and playing in two games behind closed doors.

O'Callaghan, who spent six weeks recovering from a blood infection, has turned his back on offers from Sunderland, Hull and Slavia Prague because he wants to play for Ipswich, but he is now as much in the dark about his future as everyone else.

Although O'Callaghan is mainly a midfielder he can play up front but even so Town continue to hunt for a striker.

The Blues boss has been linked with Andy Bishop at Bury, which he appears cool on, while Leon Constantine at Port Vale is thought to be on the lists of Magilton and Wolves boss Mick McCarthy, among others.

Hopes that Town may be able to get Mark Noble back again have been dashed after Alan Curbishley made it clear the midfielder was not leaving Upton Park for Portman Road, on loan or otherwise.

Winger Martin Brittain is also in the frame now after returning from a successful loan sell at Yeovil where he helped the Glovers to four wins and three draws in his nine league games.

A right back is also high on the agenda with Middlesbrough's Matt Bates not likely to be fit in the January window, although he could be back before the emergency loan window closes in March.

Fabian Wilnis is gagging to play, while his cousin Marciano Bruma is recovering from a ligament strain and is due to return in the next fortnight and play in a trial match.

Financial problems at Boston United meant they have not kept Ian Miller on loan as Magilton would have wanted and even though he stepped up from non-league with Bury Town to League Two level very well, it is expected the centre-half will be shipped out on loan again somewhere to gain more experience. Peterborough United are understood to be interested.

Dean Bowditch is back from Brighton but needs treatment on a recurring groin problem which hampered his progress at the Withdean, although manager Dean Wilkins has made it clear he likes the young forward.

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