Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

North-East Return on the Cards for Miller

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

North-East Return on the Cards for Miller

Article excerpt

Byline: By Stuart Rayner

Tommy Miller could be set for a North-East homecoming this summer.

The Easington-born midfielder re-opened contract talks with Ipswich Town yesterday after manager Joe Royle returned from a short holiday. But an offer has been on the table for some time and the fact the former Hartlepool United player has recently put his house on the market suggests a Bosman move to the club he supported as a boy could be on the cards.

Black Cats boss Mick McCarthy is on the look-out for new midfielders after releasing Jeff Whitley and transfer-listing Sean Thornton.

With little money to spend on players this close season, McCarthy's attentions seem to have been focused on promising Football League players and free signings ( and Miller, who scored 15 goals for Sunderland's promotion rivals last season, falls into both categories.

Miller joined the Tractor Boys from Hartlepool for pounds 850,000 four years ago and established himself as a regular in the side. Ipswich seem keen to re-sign the player before his current contract expires in June, having announced there will be no Portman Road fire-sale after last week's play-off defeat to West Ham United, but it would appear the player has other ideas.

Sunderland are expected to face competition from Championship clubs Derby County and Leeds United for the 26-year-old's signature. The lure of the Premiership and the opportunity to return home, though, would seem to make Sunderland clear favourites.

Miller's father, Tommy senior, is chief scout at Hartlepool.

Another Ipswich player who has been linked with a move to the Premiership new-boys, Darren Bent, has handed in a transfer request.

But manager Royle is refusing to give up on the England Under-21 striker, saying: "Darren has informed us through his agent that he feels the time is right to move on and play in the Premiership. …

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