Bournemouth make a move for Downes
- Credit: Pagepix
Bournemouth have emerged as leading contenders to sign Ipswich Town midfielder Flynn Downes, we understand.
The Cherries, who lost to Brentford in May's Championship play-off semi-finals, have made their move, with new manager Scott Parker, a former England international, likely to see much of himself in the all-action 22-year-old.
Downes is understood to have made it known to Blues boss Paul Cook that he was keen on a fresh challenge towards the end of last season.
Cook responded by instructing Downes to begin pre-season training with the Under-23s, along with fellow first team players Kayden Jackson, Teddy Bishop and Myles Kenlock.
Peterborough and Barnsley were among those to have shown strong early interest, but Bournemouth, a club who recently spent five successive seasons in the Premier League, should prove a more alluring move for the former England U19 international.
What sort of fee Town chief executive Mark Ashton can negotiate for a player effectively still under contract for two more seasons remains to be seen.
Town rejected two bids from Premier League club Crystal Palace last summer - believed to be in the region of £1.6m - with the midfielder subsequently handing in a transfer request.
Then Blues boss Paul Lambert dug his heels in and Downes stayed on for a second season of League One football which didn't go to plan.
Knee and hamstring injuries restricted him to just 17 starts and eight sub appearances in 2020/21, Town limping to a ninth-place finish and new boss Cook deciding that the squad needed a complete overhaul.
Town have already sold one former England youth team midfielder to a Championship club this summer. Andre Dozzell, also 22, moved to QPR after the West London club triggered a £1m buy-out clause in his deal.
Essex boy Downes has been at Ipswich since the age of eight and made 100 appearances for the club.
IPSWICH TOWN SUMMER BUSINESS SO FAR
IN (7): Wes Burns (Fleetwood, undisc), Lee Evans (Wigan, free), Rekeem Harper (West Brom, undisc), Macauley Bonne (QPR, loan), Vaclav Hladky (Salford, undisc), Matt Penney (Sheff Weds, free), Joe Pigott (AFC Wimbledon, free).
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- 9 'I'm almost getting fed goals on a plate... there's no better feeling' - Town match-winner Burns loving life at Ipswich
- 10 Award-winning east Suffolk restaurant temporarily closes ahead of takeover
OUT (14): Andre Dozzell (QPR, £1m), Luke Chambers (Colchester, free), Gwion Edwards (Wigan, free), Cole Skuse (Colchester, free), James Wilson (Plymouth, free), David Cornell (contract terminated, joined Peterborough), Freddie Sears (Colchester, free), Alan Judge (Colchester, free), Oli Hawkins (Mansfield, undisc), Jack Lankester (Cambridge Utd, undisc), Aaron Drinan (Leyton Orient, undisc), Stephen Ward (Walsall, free), Emyr Huws, Tristan Nydam (all released).
LOANS EXPIRED (6): Mark McGuinness, Luke Matheson, Josh Harrop, Keanan Bennetts, Luke Thomas, Troy Parrott.