Diallo signing completed

IPSWICH Town manager Joe Royle, currently on holiday, has made 30-year-old Guinea international centre-half Drissa Diallo his first signing for the new season.

IPSWICH Town manager Joe Royle, currently on holiday, has made 30-year-old Guinea international centre-half Drissa Diallo his first signing for the new season, writes Tony Garnett.

Royle worked on the deal in advance and pushed it through yesterday at the first opportunity after Ipswich Town had been given the go-ahead to trade once again by Football League officials.

The League yesterday withdrew the notice of suspension following the announcement that the club had come out of administration last Friday.

Chairman David Sheepshanks said: "We wouldn't have come out of administration without confidence that we had met the conditions laid down by the League for the restoration of our share. However this is another step along the way to achieving full recovery."


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Diallo was outstanding on his debut for Burnley against Ipswich Town at Turf Moor in the 1-1 draw in January. Royle has had scouts giving encouraging reports on his performances ever since and his command of the English language has improved dramatically.

Burnley have suffered some heavy defeats this season, but Diallo missed all the major setbacks. He was formerly with cash-strapped Mechelen in Belgium. He has already had wage talks and undergone a successful medical at Portman Road on Monday. Ipswich, though, were unable to publicise the deal until they had received the green light from the Football League.

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Diallo has agreed a two-year deal but no fee was involved as he was a free agent under the Bosman ruling. Burnley, who signed him on a month-to-month contract in January, were disappointed not to secure Diallo's services for next season.

Royle said: "He is a powerful defender, strong in the air and as brave as they come. He is just what we need after conceding too many goals last season."

Diallo said: "I am an ambitious player and want to be in the Premiership. That's why I decided to come here.

"Ipswich are ambitious as well. I know they want to be back in the Premiership and I was very impressed with what the manager said about the team.

"He is very confident Ipswich can go up next season. Hopefully I can play my part in making sure that happens."

In the meantime Mark Venus, who is satisfied that his knee injury has made a full recovery now that he has completed the first stages of a coaching course, has attracted the interest of Cambridge United.

Venus lives at Dedham so a move to the Abbey Stadium would make it unnecessary to move home. Venus was injured for most of Royle's time at Portman Road or else he might well have been offered the chance to stay for another year.

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