Royle says no to Makin return

IPSWICH boss Joe Royle today gave a firm 'no' to the idea of re-signing former favourite Chris Makin.Royle revealed he had rejected the opportunity to recall the player who quit Portman Road in controversial circumstances a year ago.

IPSWICH boss Joe Royle today gave a firm 'no' to the idea of re-signing former favourite Chris Makin.

Royle revealed he had rejected the opportunity to recall the player who quit Portman Road in controversial circumstances a year ago.

“I heard one or two murmurs along the lines of 'Would you be interested in signing Chris?'

“But I said we wouldn't be. I don't think he's for us now, although I wish him well wherever he goes.”

Royle will instead continue his on-going search for an experienced, and preferably versatile, defender and hope to complete a deal before next month's big kick-off.

Manchester-born Makin, who originally cost £1.4 million when then manager George Burley signed him from Sunderland in March 2001, has all the right credentials.

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But Royle said: “Chris is not for us. It is said in football that you can never say never, but at the moment I would say no - it is very, very unlikely.”

Instead the 32-year-old defender is likely to sign for Derby, the club for whom Burley signed him on loan from Leicester during the second half of last season.

But for a dramatic change of heart, Makin would still be an Ipswich player after it seemed he was ready to sign a new contract last summer.

He had spent almost the entire 2003-2004 season on the sidelines after being injured in Town's sixth game, the home defeat to West Ham.

Royle asked the player to commit himself to a short-term deal, in order to prove his fitness, and Makin seemed to be in agreement.

But he stunned Royle by walking out to try his luck elsewhere, firstly at Bolton and then, more successfully, with Leicester.

He signed a one-year deal with the Foxes, left in February to join Derby on loan and now finds himself a free agent.

Makin was given a torrid time from the home crowd when he returned to Portman Road in April and could not prevent the Rams from crashing to a 3-2 defeat.

He is scheduled to line up for them in a pre-season friendly at Mansfield today and new Pride Park boss Phil Brown has suggested he would like to keep him on board for the new campaign.

Royle, who was in charge at Oldham when Makin launched his career there, said: “The situation last year could have been handled better.

“I wanted to see how fit Chris was after his injury and I had a two-year contract waiting for him once he had proved his fitness.

“I desperately wanted him to stay but he decided to move on. I was disappointed at the time with the way it happened.

“Chris can play in either full-back position and I remember he played as a centre-back for me at Oldham.

“But while I am looking to bring in at least one defender, it won't be Chris. We have several other players in mind.”

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