Ipswich Town managing director Ian Milne reveals ‘club record’ figure was turned down for David McGoldrick – and now Blues want Jonny Williams back

Ipswich Town's Jonny Williams celebrates setting up Daryl Murphy to score the second goal against Br

Ipswich Town's Jonny Williams celebrates setting up Daryl Murphy to score the second goal against Brighton at The Amex last season. PHOTO: PAGEPIX LTD - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Town are hopeful of bringing former loan star Jonny Williams back to the club on a temporary basis.

So says managing director Ian Milne, who has confirmed the EADT’s report that the Blues did hold preliminary discussions with Crystal Palace about the Welsh international on transfer deadline day.

In an exclusive interview, Milne reveals that Town turned down what would have been record amount of money for striker David McGoldrick at the start of last week – Leicester therefore bidding in excess of the £8.1m received for Connor Wickham in 2011. He also confirms that ‘a large sum of money’ – understood to be £2.5m – was offered by Palace for left-back Tyrone Mings.

And now Blues boss Mick McCarthy is looking to invest some of the initial £3.75m raised from the sale of Aaron Cresswell this summer into salaries and loan fees.

“We have made our interest known to Crystal Palace about Jonny Williams so we’ll see what happens from here,” said Milne. “Mick and Neil (Warnock) go back a long way so if there’s a chance of getting him back then we can hopefully take it.


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“Mick has a fantastic relationship with a lot of the Premier League and Championship managers and that really strengthens our hand in the transfer market.”

Williams – who recently signed a new long-term deal at Palace – has stated that he would like to force his way into Warnock’s plans at Selhurst Park, but a flurry of new attack-minded players at the Premier League club could see him loaned out again.

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The ‘emergency’ loan window opened on Tuesday, with Football League clubs able to sign players for up to 93 days. Reports from South London suggest that Williams – understood to be wanted by Watford, Fulham and Bolton – won’t be allowed to leave until after the Eagles’ Capital One Cup clash with Newcastle on September 24.

“I sat with Jonny during the Crawley game (Williams requested tickets to watch his former team mates in action last month) and like any young player he just wants to play,” said Milne. “He was kind enough to say that he really loved it here.”

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Ipswich Town owner Marcus Evans’ decision to turn down more than £10m in bids on transfer deadline day will hopefully end all conjecture that he has some kind of exit strategy.

So says the club’s managing director Ian Milne as he reflects on the club’s summer business.

The sale of left-back Aaron Cresswell to Premier League club West Ham for an initial £3.75m, followed by another off-season in which manager Mick McCarthy was restricted to the addition of free agents and loanees, led to increasing speculation among supporters that Evans – increasingly tightening the purse strings – had lost interest in the club he purchased in December 2007.

Publicity-shy Evans had stated, in a rare set of programme notes at the start of the new campaign, that he remained as committed as ever.

And he backed up those words with actions when turning down sizeable bids from Premier League clubs for striker David McGoldrick and defender Tyrone Mings last week.

It had previously been thought that Leicester City’s final bid for McGoldrick had been £7m, but Milne has revealed that a ‘record figure’ – i.e. in excess of the £8.1m received from Sunderland for Connor Wickham in 2011 – was on the table.

And he admits that ‘a large sum of money’ was offered by Crystal Palace for inexperienced left-back Mings. It’s understood that figure was £2.5m.

“I won’t go into details, but the figures being discussed for David McGoldrick would have been record amounts of money for this club,” said Milne.

“The natural comparison was with Ross McCormack (who went from Leeds to Fulham for £11m). Marcus certainly had a figure that he wasn’t going to accept anything less than.

“Tyrone was a surprise to me, as it was for a lot of people. To be offered such a large sum of money for a young player still very much learning the game... I think people would have understood if we’d have gone in a different direction with that one.

“When anyone slaps a serious pile of money on your desk for a player, metaphorically speaking, then you’re going to take that very seriously. Marcus did take those offers very seriously, but he also listened to Mick’s advice and what’s good for the squad. They had a discussion and Marcus followed Mick’s advice.

“The decision to turn those bids down just reiterates what I have always known – it demonstrates the continued long-term term commitment and passion Marcus has for this club. Hopefully others see that too now.”

With Town still able to sign loan players and free agents, Milne continued: “I think we’ve made some good choices on letting people go and taking people on. Discussions between Mick and Marcus are continual and we’ll look to strengthen where we can.

“I hear fans say ‘you’ve got to pay X amount to get good players’ and ‘why isn’t there money available?’ – I regularly get that one. It’s not just about transfer fees though. The big item tends to be the salary.

“A player may cost nothing in transfer fees, but cost a club half a million pounds a year in wages. It’s about what they will cost you overall over a set period of time.

“We take a lot of things into consideration when buying and selling; age, contract, injuries, experience and potential. There have been some tough decisions, but we all firmly believe we have made the right decisions.”

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