Town missed out on Gunners star

BLUES fans will have to be patient this week as Joe Royle plots Ipswich Town's revival with two new loan signings, writes Derek Davis.The Town manager is working on a couple of deals to bring new players in but Ipswich are unlikely to pay out an extra week's wages unnecessarily, and may wait until Monday to unveil any fresh faces.

BLUES fans will have to be patient this week as Joe Royle plots Ipswich Town's revival with two new loan signings, writes Derek Davis.

The Town manager is working on a couple of deals to bring new players in but Ipswich are unlikely to pay out an extra week's wages unnecessarily, and may wait until Monday to unveil any fresh faces.

Royle is keeping possible deals close to his chest to prevent rivals gazzumping him but has made contact with those targets top of his wish list.

He said: "There is nothing concrete just yet. We have made a couple of inquiries but nothing is likely to happen this week."

Royle has not yet spoken to Newcastle United about Darren Ambrose who scored for the Magpies' reserves on Monday and would welcome a return to Ipswich for a loan spell.

Someone else Royle has not asked about is Manchester City striker Darren Huckerby, who went on loan to Nottingham Forest last season.

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Royle signed Huckerby from Leeds United for £2.2m and knows all about the much travelled speedster but even if Town only paid part of his wages he may be too expensive for the Blues, especially if they want to take two players.

Town are able to secure a couple of new loan players after Marcus Bent joined Leicester City on loan after initially turning down a minimal fee for the striker because they thought they would get a higher bid for him.

One player Ipswich would have been interested in securing was Arsenal striker Francis Jeffers, who returned to his former club Everton on a season-long loan on Monday.

Last season that could not have happened and the Blues would have been in with a chance of securing the hit man but the rules have changed, allowing Premiership clubs to loan to each other.

Royle said: "It narrows the field for Nationwide clubs to take players from the big clubs, players like Francis Jeffers for example who a few days ago may have been within our scope, albeit on a sponsored basis, now is not."

Town fans will be able to see the Gunners' latest crop of young stars, imported and home-grown, at Portman Road tonight as they take on a young Blues side.

Darren Bent and Dean Bowditch head the Town attack, with Ian Westlake and Matthew Richards also in the side.

Exciting midfielders Antonio Murray and Adem Atay will be on show, while young defenders Gerard Nash and Aidan Collins continue to develop.

Arsenal will be without their strike force of David Bentley and Jeremie Aliadiere, who are with the England and France Under-21s respectively.

Blues are still without John McGreal, who suffered a set-back last week with a hamstring pull, while Martijn Reuser is still receiving treatment for a deep-rooted groin problem.

Ipswich Town: Price, Okay, Richards, Murray, Collins, Nash, Abidallah, Atay, Bent, Bowditch, Westlake, Flack, Supple, Reid, Krause and Synnott.

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