Ipswich angered by Newcastle double bid

Alan Nixon
Friday 14 February 2003 01:00
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The Newcastle United chairman Freddy Shepherd has caused controversy by making a £2.5m offer for Ipswich Town's highly rated youngsters Darren Ambrose and Darren Bent – without the knowledge of the First Division club.

Shepherd contacted Ipswich's administrators after the First Division club revealed their financial predicament this week. Staff at Deloitte & Touche informed the Ipswich board of the offer for the England Under-21 pair. The bid was described as "derisory and insulting" by Portman Road sources and was rejected.

Newcastle, who have bought both Kieron Dyer and Titus Bramble from the Suffolk club, have upset Ipswich by trying to capture both the midfielder Ambrose and the striker Bent using what could be perceived as underhand methods – at a time when the Portman Road outfit are at their lowest ebb.

If the joint bid for the pair had been successful, Newcastle's former Ipswich manager, Sir Bobby Robson, would not have been able to play the pair in his first team this season, as the transfer window closed a fortnight ago. But the players could have been loaned back to the First Division club.

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