Christophe Berra to be an Ipswich Town player by Monday
- Credit: Archant
Ipswich Town are set to announce the signing of Christophe Berra on Monday, the EADT understands.
The 28-year-old – released by Wolves following their relegation to League One – will reunite with his former boss in Suffolk, Mick McCarthy having paid £2.3m to land the imposing Edinburgh-born defender from Hearts in January 2009.
Berra became the cornerstone of the Wolves defence as they won the Championship and then played in the Premier League for three seasons before back-to-back relegations.
And we understand that the 26-cap Scotland international will take a significant wage cut to join McCarthy’s quiet revolution at Portman Road, such is the positivity surrounding the club at present.
With not a penny in transfer fees spent this summer, the Blues boss – who inherited a side that were rock-bottom of the table last November and turned them into one that finished the campaign in promotion form – has managed to add some real strength in depth to his squad across all areas.
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As good a partnership as Luke Chamber and Tommy Smith forged at centre-back last season, they needed competition and cover. The left-footed Berra will certainly provide that, while former South Africa captain Bongani Khumalo is also set to arrive on a season-long loan deal from Tottenham after impressing on trial.
Swiss Under-21 international Frederic Veseli – a former Manchester City and Manchester United youth team player – yesterday signed a two-year deal, admitting that he ‘followed his heart’, turning down a number of offers elsewhere after several people within the game advised him to join the Blues.
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The versatile 20-year-old, a player who is comfortable on the ball, will provide another option at right-back and central midfield.
Dean Gerken, Paul Anderson and Cole Skuse have already arrived from Bristol City, while Jay Tabb, Daryl Murphy and David McGoldrick jumped at the chance to turn their recent loan deals into permanent switches.
Little under 12 months ago, former Blues boss Paul Jewell admitted his squad was nowhere strong enough following pre-season losses to Luton and Southend. A raft of panicked loan moves ended up being required, with Town going into a downward spiral before a change in managers come November.
Fast-forward a year and, with Anthony Wordsworth and Paul Taylor also set to be like new signings following injuries, Town are heading into a new season with virtually two players for every position.
– Ipswich Town take on newly-relegated Blue Square Premier side Barnet at The Hive this afternoon (3pm kick-off). For live match updates, follow @Stuart_Watson on Twitter.