Connor and Chopra -the perfect pairing
MICHAEL Chopra and Connor Wickham would be a dream combination for Ipswich Town fans, and the ideal double act for manager Roy Keane to base a promotion bid on for next season.
However, for the moment the odds are still stacked against Cardiff City hot-shot Chopra arriving at Portman Road this summer.
Any fee involving Chopra would involve a bare minimum of �3m, which is the figure Town are reported to have made, but would probably rise if a price war was to develop involving other clubs.
And Keane, although a big fan of Chopra, has warned that player wages are a major factor in any summer deal. The 26-year-old’s big wages at Cardiff, where he is believed to earn up to �20,000 a week, would be beyond Town’s means.
Cardiff look set to have to sell some of their star players, after missing out on promotion to the Premier League – they lost last Saturday’s play-off final to Blackpool, with Chopra scoring the opener in the 3-2 defeat.
But they are not in the same desperate financial position of a few months ago, when they survived three separate winding-up orders because of money owed in taxes. New Malaysian investors will outline the rebuilding structure that is needed later this week.
Chopra, a potent force at Championship level, bagged 21 goals last term, and so there would be no shortage of interested parties if he was to leave the Cardiff City Stadium.
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He is still under contract, and would be very unlikely to leave the Bluebirds for another Championship club, especially if it meant a cut in wages.
The biggest attraction that Town can offer is their manager himself. It was Keane who first recruited Chopra from Cardiff three years ago, for a �5m fee when the Irishman was the boss at Sunderland, and the two have a very good relationship.
That �5m figure might end up being the price that will have to be met to sign Chopra over the coming couple weeks.
Keane is in the market for a proven goalscorer, to play alongside new wonder kid Wickham.
Chopra/Wickham would be a dangerous pairing, and one to rival any other front-running duo in the Championship.
However, for the moment this match-up remains just a dream.