Ipswich Town set to beat Leicester and Burnley to the signing of Sylvan Ebanks-Blake
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Photos
Ipswich Town are closing in on the signing of striker Sylvan Ebanks-Blake.
The 27-year-old free agent was at Portman Road on Tuesday to discuss terms, having already spoken to Championship rivals Burnley and Leicester.
And while the latter two may be second and third in the table respectively, it’s understood that the front man – a two-times Golden Boot winner in the second tier – is keen on being reunited with manager Mick McCarthy.
It’s likely to initially be a short-term deal that suits both parties, as was the case recently with another of McCarthy’s former Wolves players, Stephen Hunt.
Ebanks-Blake has only just returned to fitness, eight months after breaking his leg and suffering ankle ligament damage. Ipswich will therefore want to see how reacts to such a long-time out, while Ebanks-Blake – a player that ultimately wants to get back in the Premier League – can keep his long-term options open.
If he can hit the ground running, the powerful front man could well be the final piece of the jigsaw that Town need if they are to mount a genuine top six push in the second half of the season.
The former Manchester United trainee was brought to Molineux by McCarthy, from Plymouth, for a fee of £1.5m in January 2008. He netted 12 goals in the second half of the campaign before his 25 goals in 2008/09 fired the Midlands club into the top-flight.
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He may have struggled to score as regularly in the top-flight (12 in three seasons), but once again showed how deadly he is last season with 14 goals in a Wolves side that were ultimately relegated to League One.
It took his Championship goal tally to an impressive 75 in 169 appearances.
Speaking back in September, McCarthy said: “Sylvan was a great signing for me and if I could sign him again, when he’s fit, I would. Let me tell you, 23 other sides in the Championship will be saying the same. And some in the Premier League I would have thought.
“Would my relationship with him give us an edge? Yes it would. All things being equal, depending on where we are in the league, how many points we’ve got, what’s happening... Yeah of course it would because I’ve got a relationship with him. If I hadn’t then I wouldn’t have picked the phone up.”