Town in talks with mystery midfielder

IPSWICH are in talks with a mystery midfielder to boost their depleted squad.Boss Joe Royle admitted today: "I have spoken to a player's agent, as well as his club, but that's all I am prepared to say at this stage.

IPSWICH are in talks with a mystery midfielder to boost their depleted squad.

Boss Joe Royle admitted today: "I have spoken to a player's agent, as well as his club, but that's all I am prepared to say at this stage.

"There is a possibility that he will be able to join us on the tour to Denmark next week, but I would have to say it is unlikely.

"Things can change in a phone call, in fact in a split second, so you never know, but we have put forward some proposals and are waiting to hear."


You may also want to watch:


Royle has said all along that his priority is to sign a midfielder after Jermaine Wright, one of seven senior stars to quit Town this summer, rejected the offer of a new deal and instead joined Leeds.

The fact that Royle is negotiating with a club will surprise many fans under the impression that he would be scanning The Football League's free transfer list for any new recruits.

Most Read

His revelation would appear to rule out free agent Mark Kinsella and Dave Brammer, out of contract at Crewe, both of whom have been linked with Ipswich.

It may be that the club approached by Royle is in the process of adding new players, which could make Town's target surplus to requirements.

Town head for Denmark early on Monday morning, returning on the following Saturday evening after games against Randers and Aalborg.

But before then they launch their pre-season programme with a trip to face Peterborough on Saturday, which promises to be a big occasion for youngster Scott Barron.

The 18-year-old left-back, who hails from St Ives, will make his senior debut at London Road after Royle promised today: "Scott will definitely be involved at some stage."

Royle had originally intended to field a different side in each half, but he revealed: "We are only allowed six substitutes – I think it's an anti-Sven device – so we'll be taking a squad of 17."

Teenage stars Antonio Murray, Aidan Collins and Scott Mitchell, as well as Barron, are all in line for a slice of the action.

Royle is looking for all of them, along with the recovering Gerard Nash, to challenge for first team honours in the forthcoming campaign.

He said: "Antonio and Aidan both played at Derby in our last game of the 2002-2003 season, but niggling injuries and illness affected them last season and they never quite got going.

"It promises to be a big season for them both, along with the two Scotts and Gerard, once he is fully fit again after his cruciate ligament injury.

"Young Barron is an exceptional athlete and extremely fit. He's our cross-country champion – he has been running like a Moroccan since we started back in training last week.

"We keep producing these young players and we will keep giving them a chance, which is where I come in. I don't mind about age. It's ability that counts."

Barron may even become Town's first choice left-back in the new campaign, with Royle making no secret of the fact that he would welcome an opportunity to hand Matt Richards a midfield slot.

Richards, along with team-mates Ian Westlake and Darren Bent, as well as the departed Darren Ambrose, all established themselves in Royle's senior squad after graduating from the academy ranks.

Royle added: "Barron, Murray, Collins, Mitchell and Nash are the new crop, the next hit squad if you like, and we have high hopes for all of them."

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter