Ipswich Town boss wants to sign experienced heads for ‘brutal’ Championship campaign

Mick McCarthy

Mick McCarthy - Credit: PA

Mick McCarthy wants to add experienced heads to his squad before the summer transfer window closes at the end of this month.

The Town boss is considering offering much-travelled striker Leon Best (29) a contract and is getting ‘closer and closer’ to other targets.

However, West Ham midfielder Martin Samuelsen isn’t one of them, the 19-year-old Norway international joining Blackburn on a season-long loan yesterday, despite reports linking him with a move to Suffolk.

McCarthy admitted his admiration for the youngster but wants to bring in players with Championship know-how, a statement that probably rules out the prospect of another 19-year-old, Newcastle striker Adam Armstrong, signing on-loan.

Asked if deals were close to being sealed, McCarthy said: “Yes there is, but that is dependant on other things falling into place, but we are getting closer and closer.”

On Samuelsen, he added: “We have been looking at a number of players and I have got someone else I am looking at.

“I like Martin, I saw him play the other night, but I do think we have got enough young ones in the team.

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“We have got a few of our own like Bish (Teddy Bishop) and Dozza (Andre Dozzell) who are still very young and the Championship is a brutal league so a bit of Championship experience would be my preference.

“We never really got to that stage (with Samuelsen) – there were a lot of other clubs looking at him.”

As for Best, the striker can be signed outside of the transfer window, being unattached, but any contracted player requiring games will be desperate to move clubs before the deadline, now the emergency loan system has been scrapped.

McCarthy said yesterday: “He (Best) trained with us today and will train with us tomorrow.

“There is a potential deal on the cards for him.

“He brings something different and if you consider Daryl Murphy has got two or three international breaks coming up, there’s potential for (Murphy) to come back with a stress or a strain.

“Didzy (David McGoldrick) is out until November, so an extra bit of firepower won’t do any harm.”