Town look to tie Walters to longer deal

IPSWICH Town manager Jim Magilton revealed today that he is in early discussions with Jon Walters about extending the player's contract at Portman Road.

Elvin King

IPSWICH Town manager Jim Magilton revealed today that he is in early discussions with Jon Walters about extending the player's contract at Portman Road.

Walters is normally the first name that the Blues' boss puts down on his team sheet every game and is expected to be a vital figure in the Coca-Cola Championship game at Plymouth Argyle tomorrow (kick off 3pm).

Walters, who was the subject of speculation during the summer at the time of the birth of his second child when he was allowed to go back to the North East for a couple of weeks just as the season was about to start, currently has a deal with Ipswich that takes him until the summer of 2011.

This was signed last January, but Magilton wants to secure a longer term deal for Walters as he looks to the future that he hopes will be in the Premier League.

Magilton said: “Jonathan has been a big success since I brought him to the club and always gives 100 per cent and is always good value for money.

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“He is the type of player I want here on a long-term basis and hopefully these discussions can bear fruit and that we can agree for him to be under contract longer than 2011.”

Although Ipswich are 18th in the Coca-Cola Championship and the subject of growing concern amongst their supporters Magilton has continued faith in his own ability and in the strength of his squad to turn things around.

Talks are ongoing with defender Alex Bruce, who has been on the bench for the last few weeks, and although the defender would love to play more matches both him and the manager would like to see the situation resolved with a contract extension on the one that currently ends next summer.

Magilton has a full squad to select from for tomorrow's match in the West Country and Ivan Campo, who did not travel to Nottingham Forest on Tuesday for the 1-1 draw, is expected to be back in the squad.

David Norris, going back to his former club where he was such a big favourite, is set to return to the starting line-up after being rested at the City Ground in midweek.

The back four is likely to remain the same with Tommy Miller and Owen Garvan, who linked so well at Forest, likely to keep their places in midfield.

Up front Walters is set to remain in a forward position and it is a toss up who his partner will be with Pablo Counago, Jon Stead and Kevin Lisbie in competition for a striker's start.

Left back Ben Thatcher has returned to training this week but will not be considered for tomorrow's match although he could come into the picture for next week's home league encounters with former club Charlton on Tuesday and QPR next Saturday.

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