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Ipswich Town boss wants to extend Dean Gerken’s contract after triggering extra-year option

PUBLISHED: 11:01 13 April 2017 | UPDATED: 11:01 13 April 2017

Dean Gerken has been Town's back-up stopper this season

Dean Gerken has been Town's back-up stopper this season

© Copyright Stephen Waller

Mick McCarthy wants to keep goalkeeper Dean Gerken at Ipswich Town on a long-term basis, a move which will bring the future of highly-rated Bartosz Bialkowski into question.

Gerken has been kicking his heels on the Blues’ bench for much of the season, the former Bristol City and Colchester United stopper playing second-fiddle to his outstanding Polish team-mate, but the club triggered an option to extend his deal for a further year, this week.

Town had until May 1 to activate the clause – and the Blues boss is keen to pin the 31-year-old down to a longer deal.

Gerken has played just four times for Town this season, and only once in the Championship, and it remains to be seen whether he would be prepared to stay in Suffolk long-term should he continue to be kept out of the team by the former Notts County man.

However, with Bialkowski an in-demand commodity at the moment – several enquiries about the goalkeeper were rebuffed by Town in January – Gerken could have a long-term role to play as the club’s number one.

Speaking ahead of Friday’s game at Burton Albion, McCarthy said: “We were always going to trigger his (Gerken’s) option and we are hoping to extend his contract further.

“If he just wants to see his year out then he can, but I don’t think that will be the case.”

Signed in the summer of 2013, Gerken became first-choice at Portman Road after replacing Scott Loach between the sticks.

In total he has made 91 appearances for the Blues and has been unlucky not to make more, according to his manager.

“He has been very unfortunate,” said McCarthy.

“If anything had have happened to Bart (Bialkowski) and he’d have played five, six or seven games and played like he did in the past, he would have ended up being first choice.

“That’s always been the case, not two games, you don’t step in for two games when someone’s been doing as well as Bart, but if he got in and had six or seven games and kept a few clean sheets and we played well, Bart knows the rules as well. He would have to get back in and would have to back Gerks up.

“He (Gerken) has kept Bart on his toes, he is terrific.”

Ipswich Town face newly-relegated Sunderland in a Championship clash at Portman Road tomorrow night (7.45pm ko).

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