Championship trio show interest in Ipswich goalkeeper Bialkowski
PUBLISHED: 14:57 15 May 2019 | UPDATED: 16:29 15 May 2019
© Copyright Stephen Waller
A trio of Championship clubs have expressed an interest in signing Ipswich Town goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski, we understand.
The Pole made 30 appearances during a difficult season for the Blues, struggling to reach the high standards he set after winning the club's player-of-the-year award at the end of the three previous campaigns.
Following Ipswich's relegation to League One, a trio of unnamed Championship clubs have made their interest in signing the 31-year-old known to the Blues, but have yet to make formal offers.
While there is a real appreciation for Bialkowski's contribution to the club over the last five years, since his arrival from Notts County in 2014, it's understood Ipswich would be willing to sanction his departure if an acceptable offer was made. Town boss Paul Lambert has previously made it clear players will not leave Portman Road 'on the cheap' this summer.
It's also understood Bialkowski is keen to play at the highest level possible and, though he would depart with a heavy heart, is open to the idea of a fresh start following five seasons at Portman Road.
Bialkowski's stunning form over a prolonged period saw the goalkeeper force his way into the Poland squad for last summer's World Cup in Russia, before returning to Suffolk to sign a bumper new deal under former Town boss Paul Hurst after a £3million offer from Birmingham was rejected.
He was not at his best during the opening weeks of the season but it was still a major surprise to see the Pole dropped to the bench for the 1-1 draw with Norwich in September, with Bialkowski later revealing he was unhappy at being informed of Hurst's decision just an hour before kick-off.
He returned for Hurst's final game in charge, a 2-0 loss at Leeds, and started Paul Lambert's first five games in charge before dropping out of the side following the loss at Nottingham Forest.
He returned again at Aston Villa at the end of January and his form improved as he kept his place until the end of the season.
Bialkowski and long-term goalkeeping partner Dean Gerken are the only two men to start between the sticks for the Blues over the course of the last five years, but change is now likely.
Gerken is out of contract this summer and is set to depart after six seasons in Suffolk, following his arrival from Bristol City in the summer of 2013.
The Blues are set to release their retained list later this week, with Jordan Spence and Jonas Knudsen also set to leave at the end of their contracts.
Grant Ward and Tom Adeyemi, who have both had injury problems this season, are also out of contract.
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