Ipswich Town keen on signing Conor Washington when Sheffield United deal expires

Conor Washington has been capped 18 times by Northern Ireland. Photo: PA

Conor Washington has been capped 18 times by Northern Ireland. Photo: PA - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Ipswich Town have identified versatile forward Conor Washington as a prime transfer target.

QPR paid a reported £3m to sign Conor Washington from Peterborough. Photo: PA

QPR paid a reported £3m to sign Conor Washington from Peterborough. Photo: PA - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

The 18-cap Northern Ireland international is coming to the end of his short-term deal at Sheffield United and will soon be a free agent.

He made three league starts and 12 substitute appearances for the Premier League bound Blades, after making a mid-season switch from Championship rivals QPR, and must now assess his options.

The 26-year-old is quick, possesses a good first touch and plays with a real competitive edge, though there are question marks about his professional goal record (55 in 256 club games).

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Capable of playing anywhere across the front line, he has previously spoken of his frustration at playing a lone striker role.

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Born in Kent and raised in Cambridgeshire, he was turned down by Norwich City as a youngster and worked as a postman when playing part-time for St Ives Town.

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His prolific form for the United Counties League Premier Division side earned him a move to Newport County where he played a part in their promotion back into the Football League.

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A switch to Peterborough United followed and, following three seasons in League One, he moved to QPR in a deal reported to be in the region of £3m.

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Off the back of featuring in Northern Ireland's last 16 defeat to Wales at Euro 2016 it's understood that Town came close to signing him for a seven-figure fee on transfer deadline day under Mick McCarthy's management.

Blues boss Paul Lambert sees strengthening his forward line as the top priority this summer as the club prepares for life in the third-tier.

As the EADT and Ipswich Star previously revealed, Town are also keen on signing striker James Norwood on a Bosman free transfer from Tranmere Rovers.

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The 28-year-old is the leading scorer in English football with 31 goals, the Merseyside club now preparing for a League Two play-off semi-final against Forest Green Rovers.

Town's forward options, as it stands, are Freddie Sears (out until October/November with a knee injury), Kayden Jackson, Ellis Harrison, Gwion Edwards and Jack Lankester, returning loanees Danny Rowe and Jordan Roberts, as well as youngsters largely untested youngsters Ben Folami, Ben Morris and Aaron Drinan.

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