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Ipswich Town keeper Bartosz Bialkowski says he is close to agreeing a new contract

PUBLISHED: 10:33 11 February 2016 | UPDATED: 11:01 11 February 2016

Bartosz Bialkowski in action during the Ipswich Town V Portsmouth (Emirates FA Cup Third Round) match at Portman Road, Ipswich, on 09 January 2016.      
Picture: Steve Waller       
www.stephenwaller.com

Bartosz Bialkowski in action during the Ipswich Town V Portsmouth (Emirates FA Cup Third Round) match at Portman Road, Ipswich, on 09 January 2016. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

© Copyright Stephen Waller

Ipswich Town keeper Bartosz Bialkowski says he is close to agreeing a new contract at the club.

The Polish custodian’s current deal is due to expire this summer, although Town – as with the majority of the contracts they hand out – do have the option of extending that by a further season.

Bialkowski says talks are underway to extend that deal even further though.

“The talks about the new contract have already begun,” he told Polish website 2x45.info. “I think we’re close to finalising the deal.

“I’m very happy here and would like to stay in the club. If we reach an agreement I think the new deal will be longer than one year.”

The 28-year-old joined the Blues from Notts County on a free transfer in the summer of 2014, having previously moved to Southampton in 2006. Bialkowski says he would be happy to spend the rest of his career in English football.

“I wouldn’t mind that at all,” he admitted. “I can’t make any definite promises because the life of a footballer is full of surprises but I can’t deny I’m feeling great in England. I’ve been here 10 years and played longer in the UK than Poland.”

Bialkowski controversially lost his place in the team earlier this season after attending his father’s funeral. He is back in the side now though, due to Dean Gerken suffering a shoulder injury, and produced a string of superb saves in Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at QPR.

“I want to show my best so the gaffer has no reason to change his first-choice keeper,” he said. “Every game is important. We play Bristol City on Saturday and I’m pretty sure I’ll start.

“But for the next game (against Hull at home) a week later, Gerken should be fit and the manager will have to decide who’s his number one.

“I didn’t lose my place in the starting line-up because of a dip in form but because of the tragic family event. But the manager has been happy with my performances so far, so I am quite optimistic about the future.”

He added: “The competition has always been fierce and neither of us could ever feel 100 per cent certain about his place.

“It’s all in my hands now and I hope I am going to stay in goal for the rest of the season. I know I deserve it.”

With Town seventh in the Championship table with just 16 games to go, Bialkowski added: “It’s going to be really tough. There are so many teams trying to get into the top six and the table is really tight.

“It can all be decided yet again in the very last game of the season. We’d like to at least repeat last year’s achievement and reach play-offs. Once we’re there, anything can happen.

“We reached play-offs last year and I even won promotion with Southampton but I was nowhere near the starting XI so I decided to leave.

“Maybe third time lucky? It won’t be easy but I guess it never is. The Premier League is definitely my dream.”

Meanwhile, Bialkowski says fellow Pole Piotr Malarczyk is settling into life in England. On the defender, he said: “Piotr is pretty much on his own now and he has no problems communicating in English.

“I obviously helped him a bit at first but I never had to babysit him or anything like that!

“We spend a lot of time together outside football. It’s definitely a nice thing to have another countryman in the team and I’m sure Piotr feels the same way as he’s lived alone in England so far.”

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