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Naylor: I don't want a big deal

PUBLISHED: 13:02 12 April 2003 | UPDATED: 13:43 03 March 2010

THE irony of Richard Naylor's situation is not lost on the Ipswich star himself.

Town's longest-serving player makes no secret of his desire to stay put when his current contract expires in June.

THE irony of Richard Naylor's situation is not lost on the Ipswich star himself.

Town's longest-serving player makes no secret of his desire to stay put when his current contract expires in June.

And the fact that the 26-year-old striker-turned-stopper refused the offer put to him by previous manager George Burley gives him a better chance of agreeing a new deal in a few weeks' time.

Nothing is certain at Portman Road right now, with the club about to enter its tenth week in administration and further departures are inevitable.

The club's highest earners are likely to be on their way, but stalwarts Naylor, Jim Magilton and Fabian Wilnis have all been told that manager Joe Royle would like to retain their services next season.

Naylor said: "I would love to stay with the club. My wife and I are settled in the area with our two young children.

"But it's a wait-and-see situation. All the players are in the same boat from that point of view – no one knows what will happen.

"It's not a nice situation to be in, but we have to accept that's the way it is. All I can say is that I don't regard myself as one of the big earners, not by a long way.

"Some players signed bigger deals based on the fact that we were in the Premiership, but I am still on the same contract I signed when we were last in the First Division.

"George Burley offered me

better money but I wasn't being used and I didn't want to just sign a contract for the sake of it."

Naylor's career has been given the kiss of life by new boss Royle's decision that he should revert to playing as a central defender, his preferred position when Ipswich signed him straight from school in his native Leeds ten years ago.

He had temporary stints at both Millwall and Barnsley last season and prior to Royle's arrival almost six months ago he rejected loan moves to half a dozen clubs.

It seemed his days were numbered at Portman Road after he went almost a year without a senior outing for the club.

But he has played in 18 first team games since December and last week's home defeat by Nottingham Forest was the first time he had appeared on the losing side.

Naylor added: "Had I signed the contract George Burley offered me it would still have two or three years to run on better money than I'm earning now and that wouldn't be good for the club.

"I'm not one of the high earners, but I have always been happy with what I've been paid. My negotiations have never taken too long and I hope we can sort something out."


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