Royle: I tried to get my Mahon

IPSWICH boss Joe Royle today came clean about a failed bid to land fans' favourite Alan Mahon.Town supporters warmed to the26-year-old Republic of Ireland international midfielder when he was a big success on loan at Portman Road last season from Blackburn Rovers.

IPSWICH boss Joe Royle today came clean about a failed bid to land fans' favourite Alan Mahon.

Town supporters warmed to the

26-year-old Republic of Ireland international midfielder when he was a big success on loan at Portman Road last season from Blackburn Rovers.

And even though Royle could not stop First Division rivals Wigan completing a permanent deal for the player, he admitted today that he tried again to land the left-sided ace.


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Royle said: "I had a word with Wigan manager Paul Jewell at the start of the summer, just to see what the situation was with Alan.

"I like Alan and I liked what he did for us when he was here last season – and I've never denied that I would have loved to have been in a position to have taken him permanently.

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"While I spoke to Paul, it would give totally the wrong impression to say we made a move to sign Alan, but I admit I would have loved to have taken him.

"As it is, Paul said he isn't interested in doing anything. Wigan paid good money for him and while it would have been nice to have been able to get Alan, it isn't going to happen and we move on."

Town fans' hopes of Mahon being one of the two summer arrivals promised by Royle were raised over the weekend when a Sunday tabloid published the briefest of links.

But from Royle's comments today, it would appear to be a classic case of someone putting two and two together – and coming up with entirely the wrong answer.

Mahon scored once in 12 appearances for Ipswich last season. He was signed on a three-month loan deal, but Blackburn agreed to call a temporary halt when the player was injured and it was all parties' intention for the deal to be resurrected when he had regained full fitness.

Instead, however, Blackburn accepted an offer thought to be in the region of £250,000 for the player and he signed in February, making 13 appearances and scoring once as Wigan just failed to join Town in the play-offs.

Ironically, Mahon has made more than one summer visit to Suffolk – to visit former Prenton Park colleague Georges Santos and invest in property in Ipswich town centre.

Mahon told me: "I loved my time at Ipswich and I would have been happy to sign for them had it been possible."

Meanwhile, Town are just five days' away from their first pre-season game at Peterborough on Saturday.

New signing Jason De Vos is back, having been given an extra few days to recover from his World Cup exertions with Canada.

Royle said: "We will be stepping up the training after getting a good week under our belts."

The Town boss admitted he was unlikely to complete any deals before he takes his players to Denmark next week on a two-game tour.

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