'I'll always have love for Ipswich, but it was time to move on' - Dozzell signs for QPR
- Credit: QPR
Andre Dozzell has signed for Championship club Queen's Park Rangers.
The fee is officially undisclosed, but the EADT and Ipswich Star understands that the West London club triggered a £1million buy-out clause that was inserted in the 22-year-old's new Ipswich Town contract last December.
It's also understood that the Blues have inserted a significant sell-on clause in the deal, meaning they would be further recompensed should the homegrown playmaker move on for a bigger fee further down the line.
The former England youth international has signed a three-year contract with the R's, with the club holding the option to extend that by a further year.
"I am buzzing and I just can't wait to get going," said Dozzell, who made 93 appearances for his hometown club.
"I have been at Ipswich since I was eight and I will always have love for the club, but I felt now was the right time to take this step in my career.
"This takes me out of my comfort zone and I just think it's the right time.
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"My dad (Jason) had good years at Ipswich but I'm my own player and I think it was time for me to move on.
"I spoke to Les (Ferdinand, director of football) and the gaffer (Mark Warburton). They sold it to me.
"I was aware they were tracking me for quite some time. It's always nice to feel wanted, so it was easy for me.
"They told me how they saw me fitting into their plans and how they can improve me - obviously there are a lot of improvements to be made, so it is exciting to come here and play.
"This was the right step for me."
Warburton said: "We are delighted to bring Andre on board.
"He is a player who really fits the mould of what we are looking for - he is young with lots of potential and has that adaptability to his game.
"He can play as a deep-lying midfielder or further up the park, and with how we play and adjust our formation, that is vital for us."
He added: "We have already seen it with youngsters such as Sam Field, George Thomas and Chris Willock - working with the senior lads is so important for them.
"Andre comes to us on the back of a very good season with Ipswich and I am very much looking forward to working with him."
Warburton's side finished ninth in the season just gone, following a strong run-in, and have already signed loanees Charlie Austin and Sam Field on a permanent basis.
Dozzell, born and raised in Ipswich, joined the club at the age of eight. He burst on the scene with a debut goal at the age of 16, just like his father Jason had done for the club, before suffering a cruciate knee ligament injury on the opening game of 2017/18.
The hotly-tipped playmaker, who regularly represented England from U16 to U20 level, found his chances limited upon his return to fitness before finally nailing down a starting spot in the season just gone, making 45 starts across all competitions as Town finished ninth in League One.
Blues boss Paul Cook, fully backed by the club's new US-based owners and chief executive Mark Ashton, has made it clear that he wants to completely rebuild the squad this summer.
Meanwhile, it's understood that Championship clubs, including Barnsley, are showing interest in midfielder Flynn Downes.
Town have already signed one central midfielder this summer, Lee Evans arriving on a Bosman free transfer from Wigan to be reunited with his former manager, while it's understood that the Blues are closing in on the permanent signing of West Brom youngster Rekeem Harper, a deal which would be seen as a real coup.