How McCarthy’s persistence, a Dubai taxi ride with Skuse and ‘agent’ Frank Nouble eventually brought Carayol to Ipswich
Mustapha Carayol immediately feels wanted at Ipswich Town - with his move to Portman Road nearly two years in the making.
The former Nottingham Forest player completed his move to Portman Road on deadline day, signing a deal until the end of the season after leaving the City Ground, as Mick McCarthy finally secured a player he first tried to sign back in 2016.
Midfielder Cole Skuse also got in on the sales pitch and tried to lure the winger to Suffolk when they met on holiday in Dubai, but the time was not right and he ultimately signed for Forest after leaving Middlesbrough.
But McCarthy’s interested resurfaced in the days leading upto the transfer deadline and, despite having offers from other Championship clubs, the 29-year-old was delighted to agree a move to Portman Road.
“He (McCarthy) tried to bring me in when I was leaving Middlesbrough, that’s when I met Skusey in Dubai,” Carayol said.
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“We shared a taxi ride and he was trying to convince me to come here. He had spoken to the gaffer and contacted my agent but it wasn’t the right time for me.
“I first heard two or three days ago. My agent asked me if I would be interested and I said ‘yes’ because the gaffer has shown interest in me in the past.
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There’s a few things I’ve learnt in football and one is ‘go where you’re wanted’ so I’m happy to be here now.
“I had a few teams in the Championship show an interest but that kind of made up my mind.”
Carayol, who likes to be known as ‘Muzzy’ grew up with former Ipswich striker Frank Nouble in south London and turned to his friend for advice before making the move.
“I gave him a call on the way down, he’s one of my close friends and he told me that if I got a chance to play for the gaffer (McCarthy) then I should go and play for him,” he said.
“He told me he would let me express myself and that’s what you need. He helped me make my decision quite quickly.
“We’re from the same area in South London and we grew up playing football together. We always play five-a-side together in the summer so we’re pretty close.
“I don’t know if people do it all over the country but in London it’s a bit of a tradition that all the footballers meet up to try and keep fit and stay sharp. You get to see everyone from the London area so it’s good.”