MX23RW : Thursday, August 16 21:24:36

Ipswich Town manager Paul Hurst planning for life with Martyn Waghorn

Hurst planning for life with Martyn Waghorn
© Reuters
Ipswich Town manager Paul Hurst says that he intends to keep fielding Martyn Waghorn in pre-season friendlies, despite Sheffield United lodging a bid this week.

Paul Hurst has insisted that he will continue planning for the new campaign as though Martyn Waghorn will still be an Ipswich Town player.

The 28-year-old striker is the subject of a confirmed offer from fellow Championship side Sheffield United, thought to be worth around £5m, after scoring 16 league goals last season.

Ipswich have been tipped to move for Tom Bradshaw and Ellis Harrison with any funds from Waghorn's sale, but as far as Hurst is concerned the former Leicester City, Wigan Athletic and Rangers ace will still be at Portman Road come the start of the season.

"There's interest, I was never going to try and deny that, but the situation is as it is," he told reporters after Ipswich's friendly win against Barnet on Saturday. "He's our player, he's played 90 minutes today where sometimes in these situations we see managers or clubs pulling the player out of the game.

"If he had been ill today or had a little bit of an injury, not in the squad, that would have just fuelled everything. He's here, he's played and he's very much our player until anything changes. At the minute I'm working under the understanding that he's our player. We want him to start hitting the back of the net as he has been doing in training.

"He's a great lad, you can't get away from that and he has a smile on his face. But he has an edge and he wants to win. There were a couple of challenges [at Barnet] which were mainly frustration coming out but I'm not going to knock that too much as long as it doesn't go too far.

"He wants to win. I'm sure they all want to win in the dressing room, but there's one or two where that all stands out a little more. We're trying to get to the young players and understand that when they get out onto the pitch they are equals and have to step up. They need that hunger and drive and not be fearful. 'Waggs' is a very good pro and an example for the younger lads."

Middlesbrough, Nottingham Forest and Derby County are also believed to have shown an interest in Waghorn, who cost Town £1m to sign from Rangers last year.

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Tom Bradshaw in action for Barnsley on April 21, 2018
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Ipswich 'to move for Bradshaw, Harrison'
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