Ipswich Town’s £2m bid for Danny Ward shows Marcus Evans is ready to spend again

Ipswich Town owner Marcus Evans' record transfer fee is �2.6m on Carlos Edwards in 2009. Picture: St

Ipswich Town owner Marcus Evans' record transfer fee is �2.6m on Carlos Edwards in 2009. Picture: Steve Waller. - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ipswich Town owner Marcus Evans is ready to spend again this summer.

The EADT and Ipswich Star understands that the Blues did all they could to land Rotherham striker Danny Ward. An offer of £2m – plus two players on loan for the season wage-free – surpassed all other bids, but the player made it clear he wanted to be reunited with Neil Warnock at Cardiff City and so the Millers reluctantly took £1.6m from the Bluebirds.

Nevertheless, it appears McCarthy has convinced Evans that he needs some financial backing this summer if the Blues are going to start going in the right direction again following last season’s stale football and 16th place finish.

Town have already landed all-action striker Joe Garner from Rangers in a deal understood to be an initial £750k, with the fee almost certain to rise to £1m after appearance clauses.

Exciting young Kosovan winger Bersant Cellina will also complete a season-long loan switch from Manchester City this week.

A central midfielder – hopefully recent Cardiff loanee Emyr Huws – remains top priority, while another striker, winger and potentially a centre-back are also on the agenda.

Evans bankrolled several seven-figure signings in the early years of his ownership. Jim Magilton signed David Norris (£2.25m) and Lucas Civelli (£1m), Roy Keane landed Lee Martin (£1.5m), Grant Leadbitter (£2.6m), Carlos Edwards (£1.3m) and Tamas Priskin (£1.7m), while Paul Jewell recruited Paul Taylor (£1.5m), Michael Chopra (£1.5m) and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas (£1.1m)

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Up until now, McCarthy has been restricted almost exclusively to frees, loans and swaps since his arrival in November 2012.

A significant proportion of the wage bill has been freed up following the exit of 11 players last month. Christophe Berra, Leon Best, Jonathan Douglas, Giles Coke, Steven Taylor and Paul Digby have all been released, while Tom Lawrence, Huws, Jonny Williams, Toumani Diagouraga and Dominic Samuel have seen their loans expire.

McCarthy, preparing for his fifth full season in charge at Portman Road, has already said that this is a golden chance to freshen up his squad. Managing director Ian Milne told this paper that he was confident ‘decent’ signings would help win back some of the 2,000 who have not renewed season tickets.