Makin set for Premiership move

BARGAIN-hunter Joe Royle has added a new defender to his wish-list after Chris Makin turned down the offer of a new deal to move back into the Premiership, writes Derek Davis.

BARGAIN-hunter Joe Royle has added a new defender to his wish-list after Chris Makin turned down the offer of a new deal to move back into the Premiership, writes Derek Davis.

And the future of fellow defender Fabian Wilnis was still uncertain this morning after contract talks were held over until this afternoon.

Makin, who missed most of last season with a hip problem, did a U-turn over signing an initial offer of a two-month contract to prove his fitness, with an extension on offer if successful, and yesterday failed to show up for training.

The out-of-contract defender was believed to be holding talks with a club in the top-flight and is expected to sign for them today.

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Bolton, Portsmouth or West Brom are thought to be likely destinations.

Better news for Ipswich is that skipper Jim Magilton and Richard Naylor have both promised to sign this morning.

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Naylor told the EADT last night. "There are no problems, we didn't get round to it on Thursday but the offer is fine by me and I expect to sign after training."

The players were given two training sessions yesterday and the management were in a board meeting, so it was decided the paperwork would wait until today.

Magilton also insisted there were no problems as far as he was concerned and was confident Royle would have a strong squad in place for the big kick-off in August.

Magilton said: "All the T's have been crossed and the I's dotted so unless there are any big surprises when I go in to the meeting everything will be signed and sealed.

"I can understand people seeing all these players going out and there is no doubt the likes of Jamma (Jermaine Wright) and John McGreal will be sorely missed as they have served this club very well over the years

"But players have the right to use the free agent situation to suit what is best for them and they have done that.

"What that does is give an opportunity for other people to come in. It gives the youngsters here – and we have a lot of good young ones – an opportunity to step up.

"On top of that the manager is a wily old wheeler-dealer who has been in the game a long time and will have things up his sleeve.

"He will have players in mind, and once he knows what he has got, or not got, then he will make his moves.

"I'm sure by the time we go on pre-season tour he will have brought someone in, maybe a couple of people. We will all see the squad taking shape over the coming week so we can look forward to the new season with confidence and optimism."

Concerns had been raised over the number of players leaving the club. Makin will join McGreal to Burnley, Wright to Leeds, Marcus Bent to Everton and Martijn Reuser expected to join Willem II, as players who have left. Alun Armstrong and Chris Bart-Williams, released at the end of last season, have yet to be fixed up.

Of those only Wright and McGreal were considered first-team regulars and Makin would have been this season, if fit.

Town have brought in Jason De Vos, who replaces McGreal, and Royle has constantly maintained a midfielder was top of his list and a new signing is likely within 10 days.

Dave Brammer and Mark Kinsella are on the manager's list of possibilities but Bryan Hughes, who was linked with Town, has joined Charlton on a three-year deal from Birmingham City.

Now a full back will be a priority, although Matt Richards showed he can fill the left back role. The 19-year-old is also capable of playing left-side of midfield, freeing Ian Westlake to move into the centre along with Magilton and Tommy Miller on the right.

n New Hibs boss Tony Mowbray has given Northern Ireland young international striker Sam Morrow a chance to impress at Easter Road by handing the 19-year-old a trial.

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