I want to keep Magilton - Royle
JOE Royle today dismissed claims that Jim Magilton – dubbed Magic by the Ipswich fans – is a certain non-starter next season.The Town boss laughed: "I've heard the stories about Jim buying a house in Southport and I can confirm they are true.
By Mel Henderson
JOE Royle today dismissed claims that Jim Magilton – dubbed Magic by the Ipswich fans – is a certain non-starter next season.
The Town boss laughed: "I've heard the stories about Jim buying a house in Southport and I can confirm they are true.
"But that doesn't mean he won't be playing for us next season. I have a house in Ormskirk, which is about six miles from Southport, and I'm the Ipswich manager!"
Royle explained that Magilton had decided to purchase a property in the North West, where he launched his career with Liverpool, as part of his plans for the future.
"We have had a long chat, Jim and I, and he's simply bought a base for when he retires," added the Portman Road boss from his holiday home in Majorca.
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Royle has made new one-year offers to both Magilton and Dutch star Fabian Wilnis, neither of whom are being rushed into making a decision.
"As far as I'm concerned the players are considering the offers," added Royle. "There's no deadline as such, but they both realise I need to know by the end of the month.
"I haven't had a chance to speak to Richard Naylor yet, but I'll see him when I get back next week and I will also be making him an offer."
There must be a good chance that the out-of-contract trio will remain at the club – but the future of several other Town players remains in doubt.
Royle confirmed that Sunday newspaper reports linking Alun Armstrong with a move to Coventry were not without foundation.
He said: "I was at Highfield Road last week for the reserve game and at half-time Gary McAllister spoke to me about Alun.
"He said he was the type of player he was interested in and I told him he was available, but I've heard nothing official.
"I was reading on Ceefax that they are looking to unload 15 players, but none have gone yet. We've had something like 12 depart since the turn of the year, so we're moving ours a little bit better than they are."
Royle expects the next few weeks to be quiet. He added: "I see May as a bit of a dead month in terms of players moving around. Very few clubs want to take on summer wages."
Despite non-stop speculation about Matt Holland's future, Royle confirmed that Ipswich have received no inquiries for their inspirational skipper.
The Town boss said: "That doesn't mean to say that Matt's agent is not working on something for his client. It happens.
"But as far as we are concerned we are waiting for the CVA to be agreed and to regain our Football League share. Then we will be in a position to move forward."
Reports abroad are linking Ipswich with Anderlecht's 33-year-old Serbian defender, Aleksander Ilic, whose previous clubs include Bruges and Atletico Madrid.
Reserve defender Lee Chaffey, released by Ipswich, will play for QPR against Luton in a reserve game today. Newly-promoted Hartlepool are also showing an interest in the teenager.