Town boss Cook keen on Accrington striker and Hull midfielder

Colby Bishop and Richie Smallwood are both understood to be Ipswich Town targets this summer

Colby Bishop and Richie Smallwood are both understood to be Ipswich Town targets this summer - Credit: PA

Accrington Stanley’s Colby Bishop is understood to be a striker being eyed by Ipswich Town boss Paul Cook this summer. 

Bishop, 24, has scored 12 goals in each of his two League One seasons in Stanley colours after coming through the non-league game to reach the third tier, with Cook known to be a fan. 

The striker is also a former team-mate of Ipswich coach Gary Roberts, who was with Accrington last season before retiring in order to join Cook's staff at Portman Road.

Bishop has proven to be a handful for Ipswich in each of the four games he’s played against the Blues in that time, most notably in October 2019 when he scored both goals to condemn Paul Lambert’s side to defeat in a televised clash at the Wham Stadium. Town’s season never really recovered. 

Colby Bishop has casued trouble for Ipswich Town in the past. Picture: AccringtonStanley

Colby Bishop has casued trouble for Ipswich Town in the past. Picture: AccringtonStanley - Credit: Archant

As is likely to be the case with the majority of Ipswich Town’s transfer targets this summer, the Blues are likely to face competition from the Championship for Bishop should they take their interest further. 

Huddersfield are understood to be keen on the striker, even after completing the signing of Jordan Rhodes and extending Fraizer Campbell’s contract, while there is also expected to be further interest from the second tier and top of League One. 

He has a year remaining on his contract, with Accrington holding an extension option on top of that, with any transfer fee expected to be in the high six-figure region with add-ons on top. While the Blues have been largely restricted to loans and free transfers in recent years, it’s understood Town are in a position to pay fees following the club’s US takeover. 

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At least two strikers are likely to be on Cook’s shopping list this summer, as he looks to turn around the fortunes of a side who scored the third-fewest (46) in League One last season. 

Charlie Wyke of Sunderland, who scored 31 goals last season, is understood to be a target for the Blues while the club are also known to have discussed an ambitious move for former England international Jermain Defoe, only to be priced out of the running. 

Cook is likely to be looking at reinforcements across the pitch, with Hull City’s Richie Smallwood said to be one of those being considered for a central midfield role. 

The 30-year-old, formerly of Blackburn and Middlesbrough, only joined the Tigers last summer and made 23 league starts as the KCOM Stadium side won the third-tier title. He is thought to be open to a move to Ipswich, though no move has been made at this stage.  

It’s likely to be a busy summer at Portman Road, with boss Cook looking to build a new squad capable of challenging for promotion from League One and a significant number of players under contract likely to be moved on.  

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