Marcus prepared to fund Magilton

JIM Magilton will be given the go-ahead this week to continue spending club owner Marcus Evans' millions.

Elvin King

JIM Magilton will be given the go ahead this week to continue spending club owner Marcus Evans' millions.

The Ipswich Town manager will be entrusted with strengthening the Blues squad, in an attempt to stay in the Coca-Cola Championship play-off race.

Town beat Derby County 1-0 at Pride Park yesterday to end 2008 on a high note for Magilton - and remove any thoughts that Evans might prefer to entrust someone else with his cash.

Although the downturn in the world wide economy is likely to reduce Evans' financial commitment to the Blues in the immediate future, a sum has been set aside that Magilton can use.

The manager's track record in bringing in players might well be open to question over the last 12 months, but Evans is still prepared to back his man's judgement.

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What is going to occupy Magilton more than bringing in a central defender and left-sided player - with Darren Ambrose expected to return to Charlton on Thursday - is to reduce the size of his squad to a more manageable 22.

This could mean he is looking to off-load up to ten players within the next five weeks - with the 13 whose contracts end in June probably top of his list.

One player unlikely to be leaving is 27-year-old Macedonian international Veliche Shumulikoski.

A fee of £2million is being suggested for the midfielder who joined Town in January this year for around £200,000.

Four clubs are reportedly ready to stump up the cash for his signature, with the chase reportedly being led by Fulham followed by West Brom, Middlesbrough and Wigan.

Shumulikoski is still finding his feet playing the number of games required in English football and is a valued member of Magilton's squad.

Meanwhile, Jon Walters has confirmed that he will be staying at Portman Road where he is also happy.

The first of many potential signings to be linked with Town is former Scotland international Lee McCulloch.

He could join the Blues on a free transfer in January from Rangers. The striker turned midfielder was a regular last season but has been more of a peripheral figure at Ibrox this year. Overall, he has made 42 starts and eight sub appearances for the Ibrox club, scoring six goals.

McCulloch has a contract with Rangers until 2011, but the club are believed to be willing to allow him to leave for nothing.

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