Ipswich Town and Notts County remain locked in negotiations over keeper Bartosz Bialkowski

Notts County keeper Bartosz Bialkowski

Notts County keeper Bartosz Bialkowski - Credit: Archant

Notts County manager Shaun Derry says ‘nothing’s progressed’ regarding Ipswich Town’s interest in signing keeper Bartosz Bialkowski.

The EADT understands that Blues keeper coach Malcolm Webster – who worked with Bialkowski at Southampton and recommended that Town bring him on loan to Portman Road under Jim Magilton’s management in 2009 – has told manager Mick McCarthy that the 27-year-old Polish custodian should be the top target to replace Scott Loach.

Bialkowski played a major part in the Magpies’ ‘great escape’ in League One last season and still has a year left on his contract, but it’s understood that the East Midlands club had agreed on a free transfer switch as they are under pressure to lower the wage bill at Meadow Lane, Bialkowski one of the club’s higher earners.

Ipswich’s sale of left-back Aaron Cresswell to West Ham last week, for a guaranteed £3.75m – potentially rising to as much as £7m – saw County ask for a fee though and Town are now standing their ground on the original agreement. The money received from the Cresswell sale does not arrive in one lump sum, while some of it will go to Tranmere Rovers as part of a sell-on clause.

Bialkowski played for Notts County as they beat Arnold Town 4-0 in their first pre-season friendly last night. Speaking afterwards, Derry said: “Nothing’s progressed at this moment in time.

“Obviously we’re fully aware of Ipswich’s interest but as it stands at the minute Bart’s absolutely fine with the situation and we’re looking at him as still our number one for the start of the season.”

He added: “Of course (you want to hold on to your players) but you have to look at the bigger picture sometimes.

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“For me, it’s just imperative that we just get through these next few games. There’s so much that happens in the final week or two weeks before the season starts, so I suppose at this minute everything is just pure speculation.”

McCarthy is keen to bring in another goalkeeper to provide Dean Gerken with competition following Scott Loach’s move to Championship rivals Rotherham United. The Blues are also understood to have enquired about former loan keeper Stephen Henderson, though West Ham are not willing to allow their third-choice custodian to go out on loan again on just a quarter of his £20,000-a-week wages.

Town have already signed Cameron Stewart, Jonathan Parr, Stephen Hunt and Alex Henshall on free transfers this summer. Their first pre-season game is against Dublin-based side Shelbourne on Saturday, followed by the visit of West Ham next Wednesday.