Reuser has more on his mind than leaving

PUBLISHED: 07:00 24 January 2003 | UPDATED: 16:12 24 February 2010

WHILE Ipswich Town fans reeled with shock after hearing Martijn Reuser had been handed a free transfer, the Dutchman had far more pressing concerns to worry him, writes Derek Davis.

WHILE Ipswich Town fans reeled with shock after hearing Martijn Reuser had been handed a free transfer, the Dutchman had far more pressing concerns to worry him, writes Derek Davis.

As news broke that Reuser was being given permission to talk to other clubs he was in hospital with his wife, who is due to give birth at any moment.

Reuser, who has been excused duty at Sheffield United in the FA Cup tomorrow, was last night thinking only of his wife's welfare.

He said: "Being told I was being given a free transfer came as quite a surprise I can tell you, but I'm not really thinking about that right now.

"This sort of thing happens in football but I will see about that at a later date. Right now I'm more worried about my wife and the baby, which is due any day now."

Division One leaders Portsmouth are believed to be poised to make the first move for transfer-listed Reuser.

The announcement also stunned Town supporters, who had been hoping to see the him in first-team action again soon.

Reaction yesterday was mixed.

While many fans were furious that their promotion hero of 2000 has been put on the list, others believe he has not made enough of a contribution in the past 18 months and it is better for him to go than to lose any of the club's rising stars.

Blues boss Joe Royle explained that the well-documented cash situation had forced him to make cuts.

He said: "This is a financial decision we have had to take, no other reason. I'm aware of his cult status but he is one of the higher wage-earners at the club and is currently not in the side.

"He has missed much of the season after surgery and in his absence, Darren Ambrose and Darren Bent have pushed ahead of him in the pecking order.

"He is on the list but that doesn't mean that he won't play for us again. If we need him I will play him."

Reuser, who is understood to earn more than £12,000 per week, still has 30-months left of his contract, so Town could effectively make a saving of more than £1.5million if he were to go.

Pompey boss Harry Redknapp was last night believed to be ready to switch his attentions to Reuser after his third attempt to sign Tim Sherwood failed.

A source close to the club said: "Harry has always liked Reuser and for sure he would be someone who would interest him now that the Tim Sherwood deal has collapsed.

"He is exactly the right sort of player for Portsmouth, a free signing with a bit of quality and experience."

Royle admitted he would not stop Portsmouth, or any club, talking to Reuser.

He said: "I have not had any inquiries about Martijn as yet but it is early. It wouldn't make any difference which club came in for him. It is not about football, it is about business. We are not in a position to prevent Martijn going to any club who are prepared to take him on and look after him."

Charlton Athletic tried to take Reuser on loan in August but he had a knee operation and was out of action for two months.

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