Has Mick McCarthy hinted Tom Lawrence could choose Newcastle United over Sunderland?

Newcastle United Manager Rafael Benitez

Newcastle United, Sunderland and Derby County are all reportedly in the chase for Ipswich Town's wondergoal specialist Tom Lawrence

Ipswich’s manager Mick McCarthy

Ipswich Town will once again be relying upon free transfers and loans this summer, Wales Online reports. Therefore, manager Mick McCarthy was in no mood to string supporters along when discussing the prospect of keeping loan star Tom Lawrence beyond the end of the season.

In short, it’s not going to happen; “We’ve got no chance,” the Yorkshireman told the Green’Un.

Since moving to Portman Road from Leicester City in August, the 23-year-old has embarked on his own personal Goal of the Season competition.

And, addition to nine mostly spectacular strikes, from long distance thunderbolts to mazy Maradona dribbles, Lawrence has helped his team-mates out on occasion too with a further nine assists. Needless to say, one of the Championship’s most eye-catching players has, well, caught the eye.

According to the Daily Mail, Newcastle United, Derby County and Sunderland all interested with the Premier League champions, somewhat bafflingly, willing to sell for just £1 million.

Tom Lawrence of Ipswich Town scores their first goal

The aforementioned trio could all do with an extra spark of creativity, not to mention a reliable goal threat, from midfield. Though if McCarthy’s claims are anything to go by, Newcastle will be at the front of the queue.

“I think Tom will have his heart set on the Premier League and I think that he’ll get that,” he added.

Ipswich's Tom Lawrence takes a freekick

It doesn’t take a genius to work out that Newcastle, on the verge of promotion back to the top flight despite a late-season wobble, have a huge advantage. Derby, after all, have failed to trouble the play-offs all season while North East rivals Sunderland are almost certain to pass Newcastle on their way down to the Championship.

Magpies owner Mike Ashley may not have backed Rafael Benitez in January but, with Lawrence reportedly available for just £1 million, he can’t afford not to fork out this time.

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