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Saturday, 15 February, 2003, 11:05 GMT
Ipswich fury at Newcastle bid
Darren Ambrose is a target for Newcastle United
Darren Ambrose is a target for Newcastle United
Newcastle United have infuriated Ipswich Town by making a cut-price 3m bid for England under-21 duo Marcus Bent and Darren Ambrose.

The offer was made to the cash-strapped club's administrators, Deloitte and Touche, who rejected the bid as "derisory and insulting."

Now the stage is set for a row between Ipswich and the club managed by former Portman Road legend Sir Bobby Robson.

Ambrose is rated in the 4m class - while striker Bent has been given a similar price tag.

I would have thought the sort of money we are talking about would be interesting to a club in Ipswich's position

Newcastle chairman Freddy Shepherd

If Newcastle are successful in landing the pair, who have been influential in Ipswich's resurgence under Joe Royle, they would immediately have to be loaned back under the constrictions of the transfer window.

But Ipswich are understood to be furious at Newcastle's attempts to sign the players on the cheap and take advantage of their financial crisis.

Newcastle chairman Freddy Shepherd was, however, in defiant mood.

He said: "I made a bid to the administrators, who thought we were being cheeky.

"Far from being cheeky, I would have thought that any interest for the sort of money we are talking about would be interesting to a club in Ipswich's position."

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