Town deny speculation over Walters

THERE was mixed messages today over the future of Ipswich Town star Jonathan Walters.

Elvin King

By ELVIN KING

Elvin.king@archant.co.uk>

THERE was mixed messages today over the future of Ipswich Town star Jonathan Walters.

Reports have suggested that he may be on his way out of Portman Road, but a Blues spokesman today insisted that the 24-year-old will be back at the club on Monday.

Rumours of a serious bust-up with manager Jim Magilton over a desire to leave Ipswich appear to be well wide of the mark, although time will tell what the future holds.

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But what is a fact is that his wife Jo is about to give birth to the couple's second child - a brother or sister for Scarlet.

Walters was given compassionate leave following difficulties over Scarlet's birth as his focus was centred on his family. The Walters have been in the Wirral for 12 days.

Walters has been undergoing a fitness regime set out by the Town coaching and fitness staff, although he has already been ruled out of Saturday's seasonal opener against Preston at Portman Road.

Reports that Stoke had made a bid for Walters were refuted by Ipswich, and the club confirmed today that they had still not received any bids for the player.

“Whatever happens we understand that the baby will be born before the weekend,” said a Town spokesman. “Jon will definitely be back at Portman Road on Monday, and we will see what happens after that.”

Magilton has continually emphasised that Walters is a vital member of his squad, indicating that he has been the first name he has put down on the team sheet.

Ipswich have today also dismissed stories that Wigan are about to pounce for Town youngster Danny Haynes.

This is likely to have come about because Wigan boss Steve Bruce watched the West Ham match on Monday. But he is a regular visitor to Ipswich games to watch his son Alex in action.

Ben Thatcher, who has still not given an answer to Town's offer for the coming season, played for a West Ham XI against Bishop's Stortford last night.

He had a trial at Wolverhampton last week and is keeping his options open. With a 15-match suspended ban hanging over his head until August 23, Ipswich are not panicking about completing any deal.

Town included Ipswich Wanderers defender Curtis Haynes-Brown in their squad for last night's match at AFC Sudbury. The youngster, who is on trial at Portman Road, also played against Braintree last week.

Ipswich defenders Gareth McAuley and Chris Casement have been named in Northern Ireland squads.

McAuley is in the full squad that takes on Scotland in a friendly at Hampden Park on August 20, while Casement is in the Under-21 party that will play a competition in Ukraine from August 18 -21, and a European Championship qualifier in Germany on September 5.

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