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‘I’ve had interest from the UK and abroad’ - former Blue Smith on search for new club after leaving Sunderland

PUBLISHED: 10:13 03 June 2020 | UPDATED: 10:33 03 June 2020

Tommy Smith's last Ipswich appearance came at Fulham in January 2018. Picture: PAGEPIX

Tommy Smith's last Ipswich appearance came at Fulham in January 2018. Picture: PAGEPIX

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Former Ipswich Town defender Tommy Smith has revealed he has received interest ‘from the UK and abroad’ following his departure from Sunderland.

Tommy Smith has left Sunderland without playing a game. Picture: SAFCTommy Smith has left Sunderland without playing a game. Picture: SAFC

The New Zealand international left the Stadium of Light last week without playing a game for the Black Cats, having only signed for the League One club in February.

Smith is currently back in Ipswich during the coronavirus crisis, with the defender and wife Leanne expecting their first child.

The door is not closed on his time at Sunderland, but there’s every chance the 30-year-old will be playing his football elsewhere when the game resumes.

Tommy Smith left Sundwrlan dat the end of last week. Picture: STEVE WALLERTommy Smith left Sundwrlan dat the end of last week. Picture: STEVE WALLER

“It was just really bad timing and unfortunately I’d only signed a short-term deal at Sunderland,” Smith told the NZ Herald.

MORE: Exit interview: Keane felt like the icing on Town’s cake but will now play the waiting game once again

“Clubs in League One don’t know when games are going ahead again so the chairman said he wasn’t going to exercise any extension which is fair enough, so I knew that was coming.

“But he also said I might be looked at again in the future once things are a bit clearer moving forward.”

Smith continued: “I can’t sign for anyone else until the transfer window opens (on June 10) anyway.

“I’ve had a little bit of interest both in the UK and abroad but I think clubs are holding fire on making those decisions until they know what’s going to be happening, (firstly) with this season and (secondly) when next season is going to be scheduled and that isn’t even clear yet,” he added.

“So I’m in limbo a bit at the moment but all I can do is keep myself fit and be ready to take the next chance wherever that may be. I’ve got a lot left in me yet.”

Tommy Smith is currently looking for a new club. Picture: STEVE WALLERTommy Smith is currently looking for a new club. Picture: STEVE WALLER

As he prepares for the arrival of his first child, Smith admitted staying in the UK would be his first choice when it comes to finding a new club.

MORE: Town boss Lambert on chances of bringing Smith back to Blues

“Our main priority is to make sure everything is safe and healthy with the pregnancy and go from there,” said Smith.

“While we’re settled in the UK, it would be ideal to stay here if possible.”

Smith trained with the Blues’ Under 23s at the start of this year following his return from the United States, after leaving Colorado Rapids. It’s understood discussions were held regarding a potential return to the Blues but no deal was done.

Town boss Paul Lambert was asked about the possibility of signing Smith on a number of occasions, saying: “Tommy’s got his own career in the States after whatever he’s had here and you can’t keep revisiting that. It’s crazy. You’ve got to move on.

“The lad done great here and was terrific but you have to move on. Football doesn’t wait for anyone.”

Smith has previously expressed a desire to play for the Blues again in the future, having made 268 appearances for the club after coming through the academy.

MORE: Do Ipswich fans want Smith back with Blues?


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