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'That doesn't bother me... it will definitely be a smaller squad' - Lambert on streamlining and using free agent market

PUBLISHED: 06:00 09 April 2019 | UPDATED: 09:04 09 April 2019

Ipswich manager Paul Lambert applauds the fans as his team gain a rare away win at Bolton Picture Pagepix

Ipswich manager Paul Lambert applauds the fans as his team gain a rare away win at Bolton Picture Pagepix

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Paul Lambert has laid out his Ipswich Town transfer strategy, revealing the free agent market, a smaller squad and less of a reliance on loan players will be at the heart of his plans this summer.

The Blues boss has already stated his desire to rebuild the club around the club’s young players, but knows his squad will need to be supplemented by a number of experienced players for what is likely to be a League One promotion bid.

Any new players are likely to arrive on free transfers, with Lambert hopeful of keeping Will Keane when his Hull contract expires and the Blues showing an interest in Tranmere’s out-of-contract, 29-goal leading scorer James Norwood.

“That’s what we would have to do but that doesn’t bother me,” Lambert said, when asked about the free agent market.

MORE: ‘I had someone tweet me saying they were going to get my name tattooed on their backside if I signed!’ – Judge on staying at Ipswich Town

Alan Judge and Paul Lambert at Bolton Picture: PAGEPIX LTDAlan Judge and Paul Lambert at Bolton Picture: PAGEPIX LTD

“We just want to build a team and a structure here where the young ones can be really exciting but they need time to develop and progress.

“There are some good players here and they’re getting better.

“It doesn’t matter to me how much money the club has got.

“It’s about having a spirit and a structure to build back to where it should be, rather than not doing things right.

“It’s the structure that has to be right.”

Lambert pointed to his own playing career as an example of how good players can be signed when their contracts expire.

MORE: Town introduce ticket restrictions to stop Leeds fans flooding Portman Road on final day

“The Bosman ruling did me the world of good,” he said, on his move from Motherwell to Borussia Dortmund in 1996.

Paul Lambert is contracted as Ipswich Town manager until 2021. Photo: Steve WallerPaul Lambert is contracted as Ipswich Town manager until 2021. Photo: Steve Waller

“Without the Bosman ruling I wouldn’t have moved to Borussia Dortmund and won the Champions League (in 1997).

“I doesn’t matter to me. I used it 20-odd years ago and it’s the best thing I ever did.”

The Blues currently have 48 players on professional contracts, including youngsters, but five loanees are due to depart at the end of the season and there are a further 11 players out of contract this summer.

“There are too many players, as everybody knows, so it will definitely be a smaller squad,” Lambert said.

“There are five lads here on loan and others out of contract.

MORE: Signing strikers is a summer priority for Lambert... and he wants to keep Keane at Town permanently

“Why do we have to go and buy a player when it stops young ones coming through. That’s where it goes wrong.

“We have to get players in who can hit the ground running rather than blocking young players’ paths.

“I can never say never but you won’t have five or six players on loan here next season that’s for sure.

“Okay, maybe one, two at the most but I don’t want to go down that road.”

IPSWICH TOWN CONTRACT SITUATION

IN LAST YEAR (WITHOUT EXTENSION OPTION)

Knudsen, McKendry, Collins

IN LAST YEAR (WITH EXTENSION OPTION)

Gerken, Ward, Adeyemi, Spence, Emmanuel, C.Smith, Webber, Dawkins

CONTRACTED UNTIL 2020

Skuse, Edwards, Harrison, Roberts, Dozzell, Rowe, Sears, Clements, McGavin, Dobra, Kenlock

CONTRACTED UNTIL 2021

Chambers, Bialkowski, Nsiala, Nolan, Jackson, Huws, Folami, Cotter, Nydam, Drinan, Morris, Wright, Donacien, El Mizouni, Bishop, K Brown, Judge

CONTRACTED UNTIL 2022

Lankester, Woolfenden, Ndaba, Downes

LOANS FOR SEASON

Chalobah, Elder, Keane, Quaner, Bree

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