Fabian: I'll stay
THERE was some good news for Ipswich fans today when popular Dutch defender Fabian Wilnis said he was happy to stay with the Blues.The 34-year-old year has been offered a new one-year contract by Town boss Joe Royle and he will spend the next two weeks thinking it over.
THERE was some good news for Ipswich fans today when popular Dutch defender Fabian Wilnis said he was happy to stay with the Blues.
The 34-year-old year has been offered a new one-year contract by Town boss Joe Royle and he will spend the next two weeks thinking it over.
But minutes before jetting off from Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam, for a fortnight's holiday, Wilnis said: “There are one or two details to sort out, but I don't see any major problems.
“I would like to stay with Ipswich and I think, and hope, that I will.
“Last week I had a chat with the manager when I made a brief return to Ipswich and my agent will be handling matters while I am away.”
Wilnis was a regular last season, mainly at right-back but sometimes on the left.
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Signed from Dutch club De Graafschap in 1999 for £200,000, he has made 227 starts and 23 substitute appearances for Ipswich.
He has scored five goals for the club, but failed to find the net last season in 44 games, including both play-off games with West Ham.
Wilnis made public his fear that he might have played his last Ipswich match immediately after the Hammers had completed a 4-2 aggregate win over Town in the play-off semi-final.
But along with Jim Magilton, Tommy Miller and Shefki Kuqi, he has been offered a new deal to replace the one that finishes at the end of this month.
He admits he was devastated to miss out on a return to the Premiership and fled to Holland within hours of the play-off disappointment.
He said today: “I haven't got over it yet.”
Wilnis did not even know how West Ham had got on in the play-off final against Preston until told by The Evening Star of the Londoners' victory. He said: “I wanted to get right away from football.
“It will take me time to recover, but hopefully having a couple of weeks away with the family will heal the wounds.
“Being given another offer by Ipswich is just what I wanted and I will hopefully be in a position to put pen to paper later this month.”
Magilton is still considering his offer, while Miller has spoken to Sunderland but is taking a break from football matters for a while because of his wedding tomorrow.
Kuqi has been the subject of interest after scoring 20 goals last season, but he is not expected to follow strike partner Darren Bent away from Portman Road.
Portsmouth are the latest Premiership club to be mentioned in connection with the flying Finn, who has already been linked with West Ham and Blackburn.
Bent has joined Premiership side Charlton for an initial £2.5million, but Kuqi is likely to agree to stay after his current involvement in Finland's World Cup qualification matches.
Royle will have money to spend on new players if goalkeeper Kelvin Davis joins Sunderland following the agreement of a fee by the two clubs.
Bedford-born Davis has a young family and it remains to be seen whether he uproots them from Bury St Edmunds and makes a new base in the north east.
Portsmouth have transfer-listed former Town loanee David Unsworth.
But Unsworth has a year left on his deal at Fratton Park and a move to Portman Road looks very unlikely given Town's financial constraints.