Drissa to exit Portman Road
IPSWICH today released defender Drissa Diallo.But Fabian Wilnis and Jim Magilton look like staying at Portman Road after being offered new one-year deals.
IPSWICH today released defender Drissa Diallo.
But Fabian Wilnis and Jim Magilton look like staying at Portman Road after being offered new one-year deals.
Town are also keen to keep out-of-contract duo Tommy Miller and Shefki Kuqi - but that looks like proving more difficult.
Darren Bent is likely to depart after his insistence that he wants to play in the Premiership, while Pablo Counago could be staying on vastly reduced terms.
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Boss Joe Royle paid tribute to Guinea international Diallo, who was signed on a free transfer from Burnley two years ago.
Diallo was substituted at half-time in the recent play-off semi-final first leg game at West Ham, which proved to be his last appearance for the club.
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Royle said: “I have told Drissa we won't be renewing his contract and I want to thank him for the two years he has given us.
“He has been honest, dedicated and a true professional throughout his time with us. He has also been a bit unlucky.
“Drissa played 25 games last season and we only lost three of them and he was playing regularly, although not in his natural position, until he was injured in December.
“But Richard Naylor and Jason De Vos are established as our first choice central defenders and we have to have a little bit of leeway for players like Aidan Collins, Chris Casement and Gerard Nash coming through.”
In Nash's case, the 18-year-old Republic of Ireland youth international has had a further injury setback after requiring two cruciate ligament operations.
Royle said: “Gerard has had a corrective operation, with some drilling done to his knee cap to promote growth.
“He is back home in Ireland at the moment and we hope he can come back with all guns blazing to get his career back on track.”
Royle was also set to speak to midfield ace Tommy Miller today, although he is not optimistic about being able to keep him at Portman Road.
He said: “I am aware of interest in Tommy from Sunderland and I can't say I am surprised. I suspect he may have another agenda.
“If I was the manager of a club going up to the Premiership and I saw that a 15-goal midfielder was available on a Bosman I would be very interested.”
It is no real shock that Royle is keen to keep 34-year-old Wilnis and Magilton, 36, nor will it be a surprise if both accept.
Royle said: “In Fabian's case it will probably be his last contract at the club. Players know they can't affect the sands of time.
“Jim has been a magnificent servant to both me and the club and he will be our captain again next season. He has been a terrific skipper and he is being offered a new contract on that basis.”
Kuqi, who was Town's top scorer with 20 goals in the season just ended and the fans' choice as Player of the Year, is currently on international duty with Finland.
Royle said: “I have spoken to Shefki and made him an offer.
“I have also asked for an early response because I don't want to be waiting around to know what he's going to do.
“It's certainly not a case of 'sign or else', but I'd appreciate knowing as soon as possible so I know whether I'm going to have to sign replacements.”
Royle has been linked with another Guinea international, Mo Camara, after his release from Burnley. But the Town boss stressed he will not be looking to bring in any players until he knows exactly which of his existing, if any, are departing.
He dismissed suggestions that he was interested in transfer-listed Hibs striker Derek Riordan, whom reports north of the border claimed was a Town target.