Town trio set to stay
BOSS Joe Royle is confident that all three out-of-contract Ipswich players will accept cut-price deals to stay at Portman Road.Royle has already made offers to full-back Fabian Wilnis andmidfielder Jim Magilton and has confirmed he will be doing the same with striker-turned-stopper Richard Naylor.
By Mel Henderson
BOSS Joe Royle is confident that all three out-of-contract Ipswich players will accept cut-price deals to stay at Portman Road.
Royle has already made offers to full-back Fabian Wilnis and
midfielder Jim Magilton and has confirmed he will be doing the same with striker-turned-stopper Richard Naylor.
The Town boss will be back at his desk next week after a short break at his holiday home in Majorca.
The trio are being asked to take a drop in wages and Ipswich are not in a position to offer anything more than 12-month deals.
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"That's all we are offering anyone," confirmed Royle. "This club has had a massive scare and we must not forget that.
"Hopefully, we will be coming out of administration in the next few weeks and we will be able to move on, but there is no doubt we must be cautious in the future."
Reports that former Northern Ireland international midfielder Magilton was all set to quit Ipswich were dismissed by Royle earlier in the week.
The Town boss added: "Jim has bought a house in Southport and will return to the north west at some stage.
"But from talking to him and Fabian the impression I get is that they both want to stay. They have both been
terrific for me and I hope we can sort something out.
"Fabian's agent has been in touch to say he wants to come to Ipswich and see me to discuss a few points.
"Richard and I have missed each other, but I will be speaking to him as soon as I can to make him an offer."
Naylor, whose career was given the kiss of life by Royle's arrival at Portman Road, has already hinted that he is likely to stay put.
Although all three players are being asked to accept substantial salary reductions, they would not necessarily be any better off by moving on.
Magilton, Wilnis and Naylor are family men with young children, while the fact that Royle rates all three so highly is likely to play a big part in their decisions.
Ironically, there was a question mark against their Portman Road futures under previous manager George Burley.
Magilton and Wilnis were both offered free transfers if they could find new clubs, while Naylor was out in the cold and rejected as many as half a dozen loan moves.
Now Royle is keen for them to remain on board as he looks to carry on his revival into the 2003-2004 campaign and sustain a season-long promotion challenge.