Town boss wants De Vos
IPSWICH are poised to swoop for Wigan skipper Jason De Vos.Manager Joe Royle will meet the 30-year-old Canadian international later today, when he will hope to persuade him that his future lies at Portman Road.
By Mel Henderson
IPSWICH are poised to swoop for Wigan skipper Jason De Vos.
Manager Joe Royle will meet the 30-year-old Canadian international later today, when he will hope to persuade him that his future lies at Portman Road.
But Town face opposition from First Division rivals Cardiff and Stoke for the highly rated central defender, who almost led the Latics into the play-offs this month.
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“We're in a three-way fight,” confirmed Royle before heading for talks with the player who cost the Latics £500,000 from Dundee United three years ago.
De Vos made 98 appearances and scored 15 goals for Wigan and JJB Stadium boss Paul Jewell is desperate to keep him on board.
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But the Ontario-born player, who moved from Montreal Impact to join Darlington in 1996, believes the time is right to move on.
Royle said: “Jason is a player who is very much in the Matt Elliott mould, but obviously he's a few years younger.
“He had an exceptional season for Wigan and they don't want him to leave, but his contract is up and he feels he would benefit from a change.
“He's a strong type who can also play, plus he scores a few goals. He's just the type of player I'm looking for.”
Since Town's play-off defeat at West Ham last week, Royle has made clear his intention to reinforce his squad - with a dominant defender and forceful forward his immediate priorities.
Royle revealed yesterday that preliminary inquiries had already been made for two targets and by close of business today he may have secured De Vos' signature.
The Town boss added: “Jason is going away to play for Canada and he would like to sort out his future beforehand.
“If we can persuade him to sign here it will make us that bit more solid at the back in being able to deal with set pieces.
“Even in our last game of the season at Upton Park we conceded both goals from corners and this was something that blighted our entire season.”
Royle is also anxious that a deal for De Vos can be sorted out quickly, as he jets off tomorrow to his holiday home in Majorca for a short break.
He has made offers to seven of Town's nine out-of-contract stars, with the players having until June 30 to decide whether or not to accept.
As revealed in later editions of yesterday's Star, midfielder Chris Bart-Williams and striker Alun Armstrong have both been released.