CARLOS Edwards is growing increasingly frustrated with Ipswich Town’s continued indecision over his future at the club.
Blues boss Paul Jewell insisted last week that the Trinidadian – one of 11 Blues players rapidly heading towards the end of their current deals – was ‘quite happy to see how things go’.
However, the EADT understands that the normally all-smiles player feels that Jewell, chief executive Simon Clegg and owner Marcus Evans have continually stalled negotiations over a new deal for months now.
A source close to the 33-year-old player said: “The manager keeps saying that he has concerns over Carlos’s age and weaknesses as a defender.
“Well he has started all but one league game this season and not once been in the treatment room, while it’s the manager who is playing him at right-back.
“Carlos is settled in Ipswich and wants to finish his career here, but he’s not being made to feel particularly wanted at the moment.
“He understands the club’s position but just wants to know where he stands.”
Edwards was offered a new two-year contract last summer on the basis that he would have taken an immediate pay cut of close to 20%. He turned that down, putting faith in his own ability to earn himself better terms during the final 12 months of his deal.
And while he has had plenty of off-field disruptions this season – a string of driving offences leading to a spell of community service, while his prematurely born twins have been in-and-out of hospital since last October – he has continued to be one of the club’s most consistent performers.
The EADT also understands that a compromise deal has been offered to the club.
Edwards will accept a reduced basic salary, but – confident in his fitness – wants increased appearance money and a clause which will see him automatically given a second year if he starts 23 league games next season.
LA Galaxy’s interest in the versatile player has cooled since David Beckham signed a new deal there, but it is understood that a number of Championship clubs – many of whose scouts watched Edwards put in a superb display in the 3-2 win at Coventry on Saturday – are closely monitoring the situation.
Town saw key duo Gareth McAuley and David Norris leave the club on Bosman free transfers last summer, with Jewell insisting he would not let a similar scenario unfold.
The Blues currently have 11 players in the final few months of their contracts, the other 10 being: Grant Leadbitter, Jason Scotland, Josh Carson, Tommy Smith, Lee Bowyer, Ibrahima Sonko, Richard Wright, Mark Kennedy, Cody Cropper and Cormac Burke.
FANS VIEW: Carlos Edwards should be given a new deal – but make him a utility man, not a right-back
By Stuart Watson (East Anglian Times)
That was the general consensus of supporters who responded to yesterday’s EADT story which revealed that Blues boss Paul Jewell has voiced concerns over the 33-year-old’s age and defensive abilities heading into the final months of his current deal.
It is understood that the Trinidadian – who has started 52 out of Jewell’s 54 games in charge – is willing to accept a reduced salary but with increased appearance pay and a clause which would see him gain another year if he started at least 23 league games next season.
Here are a selection of comments from those that contacted the paper.
– Paul Tilman: “Think the terms put to the club are fair. He has performed well out of position.”
– Joe Street: “Think he deserves the deal. Has made some errors playing at the back but always puts in a decent shift.”
– Guy Thornton: “He doesn’t have a divine right to a contract. Defending is suspect.”
– Wil Cook: “If we sign another right-back then by all means keep him on for another year.”
– Matt Chambers: “Don’t care about his age, you wouldn’t know by watching him. Sign him up!”
– Richard Moss: “He was our best player Saturday; solid, reliable, but not first choice at right-back next season for me though.”
– Marc Fowler: “Clean strike, good crosser, impressively mobile – definitely sign him up.”
– Adam Cuthbert: “Should be given a one year deal, but if Jewell wants rid of a few older pros then maybe it’s the right time for him to go.”
– Matty Stanley: “Still need a right-back, but Carlos is a good back up and useful winger!”
– Andy Cross: “A great asset going forward but shaky in defence. Get a natural right-back in and move him up to midfield.”
– George Hutchings: “Carlos definitely deserves a new deal. Very good crosser, always looks assured on the ball and his experience is valuable.”
– James Parry: “Has given his makeshift roll 100% and deserves a contract on the back of that! We still need a right-back.”
Readers of the original story on this website were asked if Edwards should be given a new deal – 51% voted yes, 49% voted no.