It's time to address the elephant in the room.

According to a variety of national newspapers and broadcasters, Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna is coveted by a trio of Premier League clubs - Manchester United, Chelsea and Brighton. The media frenzy has been intense. 

I know that Blues fans are full of angst right now. And I know that you are turning to us, the local press, for some clarity and/or reassurance.

Trust me, I wish we could give you more.

On Monday, I tried my best to write a measured opinion piece on the situation. On Wednesday, my colleagues and I had a candid chat on the Kings of Anglia podcast. 

Why nothing firmer? The truth of the matter is this. I haven't got enough to fully verify what's out there or to write 'we understand' stories right now. It's a bold move for a journalist to be holding their hands up to that I know, but honesty is the best policy.

That's not to say I'm not digging or that information hasn't come my way. It has. Lots of it. I have to be 100% certain on the validity of that information though. There are always agendas to consider. Even those who are well-meaning may have been caught up in a game of Chinese whispers.

Not unnecessarily adding fuel to the fire is a responsibility I take seriously. That's why we've steered clear of micro updates based on what others have said.

Ipswich Star: Ipswich Town boss Kieran McKenna grew up a Manchester United fan, was previously assistant manager there and has always stressed he wants to work at the very top levels of the game again.Ipswich Town boss Kieran McKenna grew up a Manchester United fan, was previously assistant manager there and has always stressed he wants to work at the very top levels of the game again. (Image: PA)

Reading comments such as 'I'll believe it when the EADT writes it' fills me with pride. I'd rather be last and correct, rather than first and wrong/misleading. It takes discipline not to be trigger happy when the first bit of gossip comes your way. Multi-sourcing stories, especially one as big as this, is the right thing to do though (but also very difficult). It's what earns us your trust.

I've seen some of the conspiracy theories. One is that we are keeping quiet because of some sort of cozy relationship with the club. That's simply not the case. I don't really understand how that would benefit either party.

The reality is that only Kieran McKenna and a handful of other people will truly know what's happening. And I imagine that situation is changing by the hour.

They say there's no smoke without fire - and there's certainly a lot of smoke right now. This is me acknowledging the plumes, but telling you we've not yet got eyes on the flames.

In the meantime, we will be putting other ITFC content out. We have daily papers and websites to feed. Some interviews were conducted in the days after promotion. We hope they are still of interest to you and remind you of the many positives.

For now, I'll leave you to debate the following hypotheticals...

- Are all three clubs mentioned seriously interested in McKenna or are some being used to flush out interest from others?

- Will the result of tomorrow's FA Cup Final have any bearing on Erik ten Hag's future? If United do change boss, would they be bold enough to go with McKenna over more experienced options like Pochettino and Tuchel?

- How long will Brighton and Chelsea wait around for an answer if McKenna's waiting on Manchester United?

- Is Maresca really Chelsea's main target, or has that information been put out to force a decision from McKenna? 

- Is there any way that when the music stops the only/most appealing chair left for McKenna is Ipswich? If so, how will he/the club address the previous speculation? 



Tuesday, May 14, 11.25pm: 'Manchester United ponder move for Kieran McKenna if Ten Hag departs' (Ed Aarons, The Guardian)

Saturday, May 18, 3.35pm: Brighton announce that manager Roberto De Zerbi will be leaving the club following their season-finale against Manchester United the following day.

Saturday, May 18, 5.41pm: 'Ipswich manager Kieran McKenna leads running for Brighton job after shock Roberto De Zerbi announcement' (Alex Crook/Joe Moore, talkSPORT)

Saturday, May 18, 7pm: 'Chelsea eye up Kieran McKenna with Mauricio Pochettino’s future in balance' (Jacob Steinberg, The Guardian)

Saturday, May 20: 'Ipswich Town could target Rob Edwards to take over if Kieran McKenna signs for Brighton' (Alex Crook, talkSPORT)

Sunday, May 21, 7.18pm: Chelsea announce that manager Mauricio Pochettino has left the club by 'mutual consent'

Sunday, May 21: McKenna is asked by Sky Sports, on camera, about the reports linking him to Brighton and Chelsea. He plays a straight bat, saying: “There's always speculation. That’s not where my focus is."

"That's not where my focus is" 💬

Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna responds to rumours of being strongly linked as the next manager at either Brighton or Chelsea 👇

Monday, May 22, 9.01pm: 'Brighton pushing to seal deal for Ipswich manager Kieran McKenna' (Jacob Steinberg, The Guardian)

Tuesday, May 21, 7.04pm: 'Chelsea target Ipswich’s McKenna after Pochettino leaves by mutual agreement' (Jacob Steinberg, The Guardian)

Wednesday, May 22, 11.27pm: 'Chelsea contact Ipswich about Kieran McKenna as club step up manager hunt' (Jacob Steinberg, The Guardian)

Wednesday, May 22, 1.10pm: 'Kieran McKenna offered new QUADRUPLE-your-money Ipswich contract to fight off Man Utd, Chelsea and Brighton interest' (Charlie Wyatt, The Sun)

Wednesday, May 22, 4.08pm: 'McKenna likely to reject new Ipswich deal' (Nick Mashiter, BBC)

Wednesday, May 22, 11.27pm: 'McKenna Among Chelsea's Top Targets' (TWTD)

Thursday, May 23, 1.45pm: 'Kieran McKenna will have choice between Brighton and Chelsea' (Gary Jacob, The Times)

Thursday, May 23, 7.13pm: 'Chelsea turn attention to Enzo Maresca in hunt for new manager' (Jacob Steinberg, The Guardian)

Thursday, May 23: 'Maresca, McKenna & Frank on Chelsea job shortlist' (Nizaar Kinsella, BBC)

Thursday, May 23, 5.49pm: 'Kieran McKenna, Enzo Maresca and Thomas Frank on four-man Chelsea shortlist' (Matt Law, The Telegraph)

Thursday, May 23, 8.36pm: 'Manchester United have drawn up a four-man shortlist of managerial candidates should they sack Erik ten Hag: Mauricio Pochettino, Thomas Tuchel, 󠁲󠁿Kieran McKenna and Thomas Frank' (Matt Lawton and Charlotte Duncker, The Times)

Friday, May 24: 'Kieran McKenna gives go-ahead to Blues move with Ipswich to demand £4m' (Nick Purewal, The Standard)

Friday, May 24, 11.02am: 'Manchester United make contact with Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna' (Dan Sheldon, The Athletic)

Friday, May 24, 11.58am: 'Kieran McKenna: Manchester United meet with representatives of Ipswich boss amid Chelsea interest' (Rob Dorsett, Sky Sports)

Friday, May 24, 4.12pm: 'Schwartz Flies Over For Talks With Ashton and McKenna' (TWTD)