By Harvey Byrne
Mick McCarthy has revealed that he has told Leeds that on loan midfielder Tom Lawrence is staying with Ipswich until the end of the season despite their interest.
The 23-year-old midfielder is currently on loan at the Suffolk-based side from Premier League champions Leicester.
His performances for McCarthy’s team have seen him attract a lot of interest and BBC Radio Yorkshire journalist Joe Rawson revealed on his personal Twitter account on Friday that the Whites and Sunderland were interested in the player.
However, McCarthy was also aware of the Yorkshire giants’ interest, but told journalists after the game that he had a chat with Leeds and made it clear in an emphatic response where the player will be once the January window ends.
“I spoke to Jon Rudkin (Leicester’s director of football) the other day and as far as they are concerned he’s with us,” told McCarthy to the East Anglian Daily Times.
“We have a commitment with them until the end of the season and they have a commitment to us. The only way that can be broken is if we say ‘we don’t want Tom Lawrence’. Well that’s going to happen isn’t it?!
“There are clubs interested. I think Cardiff are interested, I’m told QPR are interested and I’ve also been told Leeds are interested. I’ve told Leeds that he is with us until the end of the season, so they are kind of p*****g in the wind.
“Tom will have a really good choice of clubs at the end of the season. I see no reason why a Premier League club won’t take him. He’s at a Premier League club now.
“Leicester haven’t received any bids. He’s with us. There is no way, anyhow, I will be sanctioning Tom Lawrence going anywhere else. Is that categoric enough for you?”
Lawrence has featured in 26 encounters for Ipswich in all competitions this season, bringing a return of seven goals and five assists.
He scored a goal in Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Preston and is a key reason for why the Trotters are settled in mid-table in 14th, rather than a relegation battle.
The Wales international has 81 Championship appearances to his name after spells with Yeovil, Rotherham, Blackburn and Cardiff and it looks as though Leeds will now need to look for alternative targets.
Football Insider verdict:
If what McCarthy is saying is true then Leeds will have already moved on to alternative targets with the window so late. It is clear that the Yorkshire giants must obtain some further additions in the winter window if they are to win promotion to the Premier League this season. They are in a good position in fourth and fans will certainly know they can’t take this for granted as it can all go wrong in an instant. Lawrence would have been a top quality signing for Leeds, but unfortunately for them Ipswich got there first in the summer.
In other Leeds transfer news, here are the top two players on the Whites’ wanted list.