Blues challenge Stoke over Walters

JIM Magilton has issued Stoke City a 'show us your money or leave us alone' challenge.

Derek Davis

JIM Magilton has issued Stoke City a 'show us your money or leave us alone' challenge.

The Ipswich Town boss is also planning to clarify the position with Walters by holding clear the air talks.

Magilton is not only determined to keep hold of star player Jon Walters but wants all the uncertainty surrounding his future to disappear.

That would be helped if Stoke City made their position clear and Magilton has called upon the Potters to either table or bid or make a statement ending their interest.

Magilton said: “We have not had a single offer for Jon. If Stoke are serious about Jon then they should make an offer. If not then they should go away.”

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While no-one is accusing Stoke of tapping up the player, no one from the Britannia stadium has moved to stop the rumours and Walters has been unsettled by the speculation.

Magilton said: “It annoys me if it (all the speculation) is unsettling Jon.

“He is an Ipswich Town footballer on a three-year deal. We don't want to sell him, we want to keep him. If Stoke are showing serious intent in getting Jon then they should do something about it.

“If not they should leave alone and let us get on with it.”

Walters returned to training yesterday as planned after his wife gave birth to their second daughter and Magilton confirmed he will be holding talks with last season's player of the year to clear the air, but insisted they had not had a bust up.

Magilton said: “There has been no fall out - that is all rumour.

“It is important that we sit down and talk. I sit down with all my players.

“Jon is a player that other people covet, which is good for us because we have taken him from Chester and he has done fantastically well.

“We have no reason to sell our best players. We want to move on to the next level and we see no reason why John can't help us do that.

“At the same time we don't want to stand in anyone's way. The club has a history of letting players go when it is the right time for the right sort of money.

But at this moment in time it is silly talking about it because nothing has been done.

“People seem to be dealing through the press or allowing things to get as far as it has.”

The 24-year-old striker trained with his Town team-mates yesterday following a two week absence and Magilton expects him to play at least a part in tonight's Carling Cup tie against Leyton Orient at Portman Road.

He said: “Jon went home to be with his family which is the most important thing.

“He is back, wife and baby are doing well, and he is in the squad for Leyton Orient.

“He may be little short of match fitness to start but he is certainly in the squad and hopefully we will see him in a blue shirt.”

Magilton also dismissed suggestions that a deal to sign Portsmouth's David Nugent is imminent.

He said: “David is a Portsmouth player and Portsmouth are trying to get rid of him. We have been linked because he is a goal-scorer who is proven in the Championship.

“We know he will score at this level.”

Town are expecting a decision from defender Ben Thatcher this morning after offering him a contract and the player has been told to choose between them and West Ham today.

derek.davis@eadt.co.uk

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