Town committed to signing Donacien for £750k
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Ipswich Town are committed to signing loan player Janoi Donacien on a permanent deal once his immigration status is rubber stamped.
The Blues agreed a £750k fee for the St Lucian-born defender when negotiating with League Two champions Accrington Stanley back in the summer, but decided to initially take him on a temporary basis until work permit issues were resolved.
Donacien has not featured for the first team since Paul Lambert replaced Paul Hurst as Blues boss though. He played for the club’s Under-23s yesterday having been replaced on the bench by Toto Nsiala for last weekend’s 2-0 Championship defeat Stoke.
“‘Permanent leave to remain’ is the name of the document that comes through from the Home Office and we’ll still waiting on that,” explained club secretary Stuart Hayton, speaking on this newspaper’s Kings of Anglia podcast.
“There’s nothing we can really do other than keep chasing them. When that comes through it means that he can sign for us on a permanent deal.”
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Town managing director Ian Milne added: “It’s just a case of bureaucracy and there is no reason to believe that’s not going to come through.”
Asked if the club had an option to call off the permanent transfer should Lambert wish to do so, Hayton replied: “It’s all in place – it’s got to happen.”
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Accrington Stanley chairman Andy Holt, speaking at the time of the Donacien transfer, explained: “The fee means a great deal to us and it’s going into new changing rooms.”
The Blues, who also went on to sign striker Kayden Jackson from the Lancashire club for £1.6m, have been handed an FA Cup third round tie at the Crown Ground on January 5.
It’s yet unclear whether Donacien will be able to feature against what is technically still his parent club.
• Born and raised on the Caribbean island of St Lucia, he moved to England when he was aged seven.
• He played youth team football for Luton, Tottenham and Aston Villa before earning a permanent deal at Villa Park.
• He and his family were granted his family were granted three years of discretionary leave in 2012, which was repeated again in 2015.
• Was an unused substitute for Villa twice in 2013/14 and, following loans at Tranmere, Wycombe and Newport, he signed for Accrington Stanley in 2016.
• Played a key role at left-back as Stanley won the League Two title last season before joining Ipswich Town.
DONACIEN ON DOCUMENTATION DELAY
Speaking in October 2018, he said: “I’m still on loan until I get my biometric card back from the Home Office, whenever they get it sorted for me. It’s all down to them and I’m hoping to hear something soon.
“I’ve got no idea about a timeframe. Have I called the Home Office? No, I didn’t even know you could do that.
“It’s frustrating but it’s out of my hands. I have done everything that I can do so now it’s just a case of waiting to hear.
“This is a process that has been part of my entire life here. It happened when I was at Aston Villa so it’s nothing new to me. When I go out on to the pitch I leave all that behind me and I concentrate on enjoying my football.
“I’m confident it will be okay and I’ll get the card that says ‘you’re sweet’. That would make it final and I’d be free to come and go like everyone else.
“I know I’m on loan at the moment but I feel like a signed player and that’s the way I am thinking.”
LAMBERT ON DONACIEN
Paul Lambert worked briefly with a young Donacien during his time as Aston Villa manager, loaning him out to League Two side Tranmere.
“He’s a centre-half,” said the Scot, upon being reunited with the defender at Portman Road.
“That’s me, I see him as a centre-half. I know he’s played right-back and left-back.
“He might go to right-back if we needed someone to fill into that position, but I still see him being strongest as a centre-half. Left-back I’d say no.
“He knows he’s got (Luke) Chambers and (Matthew) Pennington ahead of him but he’s a good pro who does everything asked of him.”
Lambert is looking to add some experience to his rock-bottom squad when the January transfer window opens and has admitted ‘it might well be loans’.
Championship clubs can sign as many loan players as they like, but only name a maximum of five of them in a match day squad.
Tayo Edun and Jordan Graham look like they will be formally returning to parent clubs Fulham and Wolves respectively in the new year, though loan duo Trevoh Chalobah and Matthew Pennington are regular starters.