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Kieran McKenna: Ipswich manager likely to reject new deal

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Ipswich manager Kieran McKenna is likely to reject any new deal amid interest from Chelsea and Brighton.

The 38-year-old is also believed to be under consideration by Manchester United if they decide to make a change with Erik ten Hag’s future in doubt.

McKenna – who is contracted to Ipswich until 2027 – is ambitious and is understood to be keen to take the next step in his career.

Talks with Ipswich are likely to take place this week and the Tractor Boys are expected to offer McKenna a new deal to convince him to stay at Portman Road.

BBC Sport understands that is expected to fail with the manager, and assistant Martyn Pert, feeling the time is right to move.

Chelsea are believed to be in pole position, despite Brighton’s interest, with United’s situation adding to the complexities as they are yet to confirm what will happen with Ten Hag.

Any club will need to pay at least £4m compensation to take McKenna and Pert.

There is no panic from Ipswich, they are calm and recognise this comes with the territory after McKenna’s stunning success in taking them back to the Premier League for the first time since 2001-02.

They displayed a united front at the League Managers Association’s awards in London on Tuesday, where McKenna won the Championship manager of the year and the LMA manager of the year.

It came after he guided Ipswich back to the Premier League, sealing successive promotions having finished second in League One in 2023.

They were runners up to Leicester in the Championship this term and earned over 90 points and scored more than 90 goals in both seasons.

McKenna, a boyhood United fan, spent five years at Old Trafford working under Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, before joining Ipswich in December 2021.

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