IPSWICH Town boss Paul Jewell has confirmed he will make a renewed effort to land Rovers striker Billy Sharp when the transfer window opens in January.
There has been much speculation in recent weeks linking Sharp with a move away from the Keepmoat and Jewell is determined to make that a reality in the New Year.
The Tractor Boys had a £2.3m offer turned down by Doncaster in May but look set to return to the table with an offer closer to Rovers’ valuation.
Southampton reportedly triggered a clause in Sharp’s contract in the summer with a bid of £3.25m.
That clause meant Rovers were forced to accept the bid and allow the 25-year-old striker to talk to the south coast club.
The Free Press understands Sharp decided against the move after meeting with Saints officials.
Jewell has now suggested he will match Southampton’s bid in January.
He said: “Doncaster will gave to accept an offer because Billy Sharp has got a clause in his contract.
“If a club meets that valuation, they have to give him permission to speak.
“We’d like to have him here.
“There’s no hiding from the fact we tried to get him in the summer because he’s a quality Championship player – he might even be Premier League standard.
“I know Billy was interested in coming here in the summer so we’ll see what happens.”
Former Sheffield Wednesday boss Jewell said he believes current Championship leaders Southampton will also make another attempt to sign Sharp in January.
Sharp will likely have put the Tractor Boys on high alert with comments following Rovers’ visit to Portman Road last weekend.
He admitted Ipswich would be a ‘fantastic club to play for’ following the incredible reaction their supporters gave him after he netted in Rovers’ 3-2 triumph.
The striker received a standing ovation from all four stands after scoring his second goal in the seven days that followed the tragic death of newborn son Luey.
He said: “I had a lump in my throat when the Ipswich fans did that for me.
“They didn’t have to do that to an opposing player and I would like to thank them all for showing that respect for me.
“There was interest in the summer and both clubs spoke.
“It’s a great club but it just wasn’t the right club for me at that point.
“But it wasn’t because of the club.
“It is a great club and it would be a fantastic one to play for.”