Jay Tabb retains hope of joining Ipswich Town this summer – despite confirming that contract negotiations have hit a few minor snags.
The Reading midfielder is available for nothing after failing to earn a new deal at the Madejski Stadium under new boss Nigel Adkins.
However, his performances on loan at Portman Road in the final months of the season have left a number of clubs keen on the Irishman, with Middlesbrough and Birmingham two being linked.
A move to the Tractor Boys remains the priority though, with Tabb admitting he loved his time at the club and believes they are moving in the right direction under Mick McCarthy.
“Ipswich is (my first choice) if possible because I had a good time there at the end of the season and I think they are going to do really well next year,” he told GiveMeFootball in an exclusive interview at Wentworth.
“Mick is a class manager and I think he's the right man to take them forward so I'd like to be there. I'm settled there as well which is good, but you have to wait and see because at the end of the day it's your job, so you have to see what options are on the table.
“I'm going to enjoy my holidays and then see where I end up next season.”
Tabb confirmed that contract negotiations had already begun, and originally thought that a deal would be agreed quickly.
However, a few issues still need to be ironed out, with the 29-year-old searching for the right deal as he moves towards the later stages of his career.
“I thought it was going to be a done deal but we've hit a couple of little snags, but nothing too major,” he added.
“I'm not a greedy person and it’s not about getting lots of money, but at the same time you have to make sure everything is sorted out in the right way. It is your job at the end of the day.
“I know Mick really wants me and I really want to be there, so hopefully we can come to an agreement and get it sorted out.”
And, unsurprisingly for a player about to hit his 30s, playing first team football on a regular basis is a key factor in any possible move.
“First team football is vital to me because I like to be playing. I had a good little spell at Reading before missing out, and it was good to be playing regularly at Ipswich,” Tabb concluded.
“You don't realise how much you miss it until you’re actually back playing again on a regular basis.
“I’d never been on loan before so I wasn't too sure what to expect but it was definitely the right thing for me to do, to go out and play some games. I had a great time and really enjoyed it, got on really well with the fans, players and manager, and it's a club I will hopefully stay at.”