Davis saga drags on

WITH manager Joe Royle returning to England after his holiday this weekend, Ipswich Town's dealings in the transfer market could gather pace, with the Kelvin Davis transfer saga still the key to their wheeling-and-dealing, writes David Vincent.

WITH manager Joe Royle returning to England after his holiday this weekend, Ipswich Town's dealings in the transfer market could gather pace, with the Kelvin Davis transfer saga still the key to their wheeling-and-dealing, writes David Vincent.

There are a lot of quality players out of contract across the country and Town will be looking to bring in some on Bosman free transfers.

Financial restrictions at Portman Road leave little room for manoeuvre until more cash is raised.

The new wage commitments new players would bring mean Joe Royle's hands are tied until more transfer cash is created, with the £1million Davis deal the key to his transfer kitty.


You may also want to watch:


Despite the positive message the Ipswich No. 1 has expressed about wishing to join Mick McCarthy at the Stadium of Light the poor relationship between Sunderland and the goalkeeper's agent Jonathan Barnett could prove the stumbling block.

Barnett is the high-profile agent in the middle of the Ashley Cole tapping-up row between Arsenal and Chelsea, and he also upset the Black Cats just over a year ago.

Most Read

Among his client list, which includes high-profile players like Kieron Dyer, Titus Bramble, John Hartson and Richard Wright, is much-travelled striker Darren Byfield.

Byfield, the former Aston Villa, Rotherham and Cambridge United player, spent the last three months of the previous season at the Stadium of Light on loan, scoring five times in his 17 appearances.

Sunderland offered him a one-year contract last summer but later withdrew it after the player asked for improved terms.

That led to a bitter war of words with each side accusing the other of being in the wrong.

Byfield subsequently signed for Gillingham, where he remains.

It's likely that Sunderland, who got their fingers burnt on their last visit to the Premiership, will not be held to ransom this time.

The chances of Davis moving to West Ham appear to have lessened though, with the newly-promoted club holding talks with former Manchester United goalkeeper Fabien Barthez. Roy Carroll, who left Old Trafford at the end of last season, has also been linked with the Hammers.

While Royle may well lose his first-choice goalkeeper, he has already seen joint top scorer Darren Bent leave for Charlton, and with Pablo Counago having been released by the club, he will need to strengthen his options up front.

Town target Reading striker Nicky Forster may come into the reckoning, after turning down Steve Coppell's offer of a one-year deal to remain at the Madejski Stadium.

Forster scored a hat-trick against Town when Tony Mowbray was caretaker manager in the autumn of 2002. Although on the fringe of the Reading side due to the goalscoring efforts of Dave Kitson, Forster has an excellent record in the second tier of English football, having hit 66 goals in 177 game for the Royals. Stoke City and Sheffield United are already said to be interested.

Also looking for a club is Dougie Freedman, who featured for Crystal Palace in the Premiership last season. The Scot was a potential loan target for Royle before Christmas 2004.

n Canadian winger Jaime Peters, who has signed a pre-contract agreement with the Blues, is in his country's squad for the World Youth Championships in the Netherlands which open on Monday and run through to July 2. Canada have group games against Italy, Colombia and Syria.

n Former Ipswich midfielder Danny Sonner has signed for Port Vale after spending the last three months of the season on loan there.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter