Bowden and Magilton quell Walters fears

IPSWICH Town manager Jim Magilton and chief executive Derek Bowden have made a combined move to quell fears among an ever-increasing number of Blues fans that Jon Walters is on the verge of a transfer move.

Derek Davis

IPSWICH Town manager Jim Magilton and chief executive Derek Bowden have made a combined move to quell fears among an ever-increasing number of Blues fans that Jon Walters is on the verge of a transfer move.

Concerns have been voiced by a growing army of supporters to various fans website forums, along with e-mails and phone calls to media organisations.

The calls show many people are worried there is more to Walters' two week absence than just compassionate leave to be with his wife, who had returned to the Birkenhead area to be with her family for the birth of the couple's second child.

But the senior Town duo categorically denied there was anything untoward about Walters' prolonged stay in the north-west.

Bowden said: “There has been no offer for Jon Walters and no transfer request from Jon and he will back on Monday.”

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Magilton added: “Jon Walters was given two weeks to be with his family for domestic reasons. I got the full backing of the football club in allowing Jon to spend this time with his wife.

“He will be back with us on Monday with a view to play in the Carling Cup on Tuesday night.”

As one of the top players in the Championship last season, he was rated seventh in the Actim Index, Walters has been linked with Stoke City, Everton, Wigan and West Brom.

Despite constant reassurances by the club that no bid by any clubs has been received by Ipswich for last season's player of the year, and that Walters had not put in a transfer request, Blues supporters remain concerned.

He will miss the season-opener against Preston on Saturday with Danny Haynes expected to start on the right in his place.

Haynes has also been subject to transfer rumour but Town chief executive Derek Bowden confirmed earlier this week that no bid had been received from Wigan, or anyone else for the speedster.

Town insist that Walters will be back at Portman Road on Monday after the baby, due on Friday, is born.

It is possible that he will be pitched straight back into action against Leyton Orient on Tuesday in the first round of the League Cup.

Walters is training with his old club Chester City and following a specially designed fitness programme given to him by Town's fitness coach Simon Thadani and so should be up to speed, if not yet match fit after missing pre-season games.

Rumours have been abound all summer that Walters was on his way to Stoke City, so much so that it was reported on rumour sites last month that he would be joining Tony Pulis' men on the first day of training.

The Potters' remain strongly linked with Walters though with sources on the north-west suggesting a cash plus player deal worth around £3m could be in the offing.

Centre half Leon Cort or striker Ricardo Fuller could be player involved with both coming back from injuries.

Another theory, unsubstantiated, is Everton have been waiting for the Andy Johnson move to Fulham, which was completed last night, to be finalised before securing Walters.

The uncertainty among supporters could be a factor in relatively poor ticket sales for Saturday's home game with Preston with less than 19,000 understood to have been sold with just three days to go, but the announcement by Magilton and Bowden should allay those worries.

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