Deal may be thwarted

IPSWICH Town boss Joe Royle has admitted he may be thwarted in his bid to sign Gavin Williams on a permanent basis, but will look to extend his loan period even further.

IPSWICH Town boss Joe Royle has admitted he may be thwarted in his bid to sign Gavin Williams on a permanent basis, but will look to extend his loan period even further.

Williams has already said that he would love to stay at Portman Road after his loan period expired and has since been handed another 30 days, taking him into the middle of January.

But Royle does not hold out much hope of keeping him beyond that date unless the club's financial situation improves dramatically.

The Blues were hoping that a deal could be struck where the West Ham boss took Dean Bowditch and paid Town cash plus two players, but Alan Pardew appears to have cooled his interest in the forward.

Royle said last night: “It looks unlikely that we will be able to sign Gavin on a permanent basis although hopefully we can extend his loan in January.

“I have been delighted with Gavin and what he has brought us. He is an Ipswich-type player who is talented and very fit, who gets around the pitch. We have not had a genuine right-sided player since Jermaine Wright.”

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Royle also ruled out the possibility of Town signing either of the two New England Resolution players who Paul Mariner brought over to train with the squad.

Royle said: “They were only ever going to train with us as it is out of season for them in America right now. There is no chance that we will be looking to sign either of them. One is a midfielder and the other a central defender and neither position is a priority for us. We are looking for players to stand in for the long-term casualties.”

Meanwhile, Liam Craig has dismissed suggestions that a compensation package due to Hearts has stopped him winning a professional contract at Ipswich Town.

The reserve team skipper, who captained the Academy side to FA Youth Cup final glory last season, has six months left on his current deal and the Blues would have to pay around £30,000 to the Edinburgh club where he signed from, if he is given a new deal.

Craig, who will be 19 on December 27, said: “I signed nearly three years ago and I'm delighted to be with a club like Ipswich. My aim is to get in the team and any compensation costs is between the two clubs. I don't think it is an issue. Hopefully I will get my chance and it is up to me to stay in the squad.”

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