Town offer duo new deals
By Mark Buckingham
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
The players have recently been the subject of an enquiry from Premiership outfit Southampton while Newcastle United are firm admirers of Bent.
The Magpies had a bid for the England Under-21 international rejected earlier in the year but have not returned with a renewed offer.
Town manager Joe Royle is determined to hold on to the starlets and wants the pair in his Portman Road starting line-up at the advent of next season.
Defender Richards and striker Bent are mulling over the contract offers and Royle is optimistic of a positive outcome.
"We have offered new, improved contracts to both Darren and Matt Richards," confirmed Royle to the club's official website.
"There has been interest from other clubs in the two of them but we do not want them to leave Ipswich Town.
"They are both thinking over the deals and I hope they will sign the contracts soon.
"I have a team in my mind for the start of next season and both Darren and Matt are in the starting line-up."