Chopra to sign for Ipswich today

MICHAEL Chopra will today become an Ipswich Town player.

We can reveal that the Cardiff City striker will sign for the Blues before the weekend and become Paul Jewell’s first signing of the summer.

The 27-year-old was in Ipswich yesterday to undergo a medical and will put pen to paper later today.

It is believed Chopra had grown hungry for a new challenge after Cardiff suffered play-off heartache in two successive seasons in the Championship.

And the Bluebirds were happy to sanction a move – in the region of �1.5 million – for the forward who had just one year on his contract, rather than wait before a new manager arrives in the coming week or two.

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Ipswich were always Chopra’s first choice and any fears last night that Championship rivals West Ham might try and hijack the bid were believed to be just tittle-tattle speculation.

The club were remaining tight-lipped with a spokesman just saying: “It is not our policy to comment on transfer speculation until any deal is finalised.”

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But it would seemingly take a massive last-minute glitch for the move not to be sealed today.

Both manager Paul Jewell and chief executive Simon Clegg are currently away from the club, but we can reveal they have been working on bringing Chopra to Portman Road for several weeks.

Chopra, who has scored a total of 63 goals in 139 starts in two spells for Cardiff, would become Town’s first signing of the season – 12 months after the Blues failed in a �3 million-plus bid for the striker.

Whether Chopra arrives as a partner to Connor Wickham, or in place of the 18-year-old, remains to be seen.

Ironically, Wickham was yesterday forced off injured during England Under-21s’ first training session in preparation for the European Championships in Denmark.

Eyewitnesses said Wickham – who is the youngest player in the tournament – suffered a knock to his ankle in a “firm but fair” challenge by team mate Phil Jones, the centre back who is close to completing his move to Manchester United.

But Under-21s boss Stuart Pearce confirmed: “It is precautionary more than anything. We don’t want to push someone out on a pitch and lose them for more days than we should. He will be fine.”

England kick off their tournament on Sunday night against favourites Spain.

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