'I always wanted to stay' - Bialkowski delighted to sign new three-year Town deal
PUBLISHED: 17:01 16 July 2018 | UPDATED: 18:37 16 July 2018
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Ipswich Town goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski has today signed a bumper new long-term contract.
The 31-year-old had been heading into the final year of his deal and Town recently turned down bids of £2.75m and £3m from Championship rivals Birmingham City.
And now, following drawn out negotiations that started back in January, the three times Supporters’ Player of the Year has penned a fresh three-year deal which also contains an option for the Blues to extend by a further 12 months.
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It means the Poland international, who joined up with the squad today following his return from the World Cup, is now a protected asset until 2022.
The EADT and Ipswich Star understands that Blues owner Marcus Evans has made Bialkowski one of the top earners at Portman Road, such was the desire to keep the star man and fans’ favourite, though national reports of £20k-a-week are vastly exaggerated.
Bialkowski, who has made 148 appearances for Town since joining from Notts County on a free transfer in 2014, has always made it clear that his young family were settled in Suffolk, though he has never hid his ambitions to play in the Premier League.
Evans, speaking to the club website, said: “We did receive bids for Bart but they were rejected very quickly.
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“It was always my intention to try and keep him at this football club. Bart made it clear he wanted to stay as well but it was important to reach an agreement that was right for all parties.
“I’m delighted – and I’m sure the supporters are as well – that we have been able to do that.”
Bialkowski told the club website: “I’m absolutely delighted. It’s been a long time, but thankfully it’s all signed and I’m really happy, my family is happy and that’s the most important thing.
“Honestly it’s a massive honour to play for this amazing football club. I am very proud and my family are proud. I always wanted to stay – I’ve said that so many times.
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“Obviously everyone has ambitions, but you’ve got to look at the bigger picture. This is a club I feel very happy at. I just wanted to stay here and I made it clear that I wanted to sign a new long-term contract.”
On new boss Paul Hurst, the Polish keeper said: “I spoken to him a couple of times. He sounds very positive and I’m really looking forward to working with him.
“I had nearly three weeks off after the World Cup and now I’m fresh and ready.”
Town fan Richard Hibbert has invited Town fans to celebrate Bialkowski signing a new deal by donating to East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices via this JustGiving page.
Meanwhile, it’s understood the Blues are close to signing Peterborough United winger Gwion Edwards, with the Welshman set to undergo a medical today after the two clubs agreed a fee of around £700k last week.
HEADING INTO LAST YEAR (WITH EXTENSION OPTION)
Chambers, Webster, C.Smith, Emmanuel, Spence, Woolfenden, Kenlock, Adeyemi, Ward, Waghorn, Sears, Morris
HEADING INTO LAST YEAR (WITHOUT EXTENSION OPTION)
Gerken, Wright, Knudsen, Bishop, McKendry
CONTRACTED UNTIL 2020
Skuse, Dozzell, Downes, Rowe, Garner
CONTRACTED UNTIL 2021
Huws, Bialkowski, Cotter, Nydam, Drinan, Folami