Ipswich Town target Sunderland trio
- Credit: PA
Ipswich Town are targeting a trio of Sunderland players this summer, we understand.
Manager Paul Cook and incoming chief executive Mark Ashton are understood to be casting the net far and wide this summer as they look to rebuild the Ipswich Town squad in a bid to win promotion from League One at the third attempt, with players likely to be targeted in almost every position on the field.
The Blues are understood to have shown interest in three Black Cats, most notably the Wearside club’s leading scorer from 2020/21 Charlie Wyke, as well as midfielder Max Power and young attacker Josh Hawkes.
Wyke, 28, is out of contract at the Stadium of Light this summer but has been offered a new deal, on the back of a season which saw him score 31 goals in all competitions and finish second in the League One scoring charts behind Peterborough’s Jonson Clarke-Harris.
He is known to have interest from the Championship, including Nottingham Forest, Cardiff City and hometown club Middlesbrough, but it’s understood none of those have made formal approaches for the striker’s services at this stage. Scottish giants Celtic and Russian side CSKA Moscow are also understood to have watched him in action.
While Wyke has spent the majority of his career in his native North East, with Boro’s youth sides, Hartlepool and then Sunderland, as well as spells at Carlisle and Bradford, it’s understood the forward is open to a fresh start away from the region at an important stage of his career.
The Blues are thought to be in a position to compete with clubs at Championship level in the market this summer but it remains to be seen whether offering players the opportunity to be central figures in their new-look squad will be enough to persuade them to move to League One, rather than accept offers from the second tier.
Town have already missed out on Luton defender Sonny Bradley, who opted to sign a new deal with the Hatters rather than join the Blues.
- 1 Revealed: The most isolated villages in Suffolk
- 2 Protests against soaring fuel prices planned for Monday
- 3 Ambitious plans to regenerate 'dilapidated' part of Suffolk town revealed
- 4 Double-decker bus bought on eBay becomes new home for evicted Suffolk family
- 5 Mystery surrounds container ships at anchor off Suffolk coast
- 6 One of north Suffolk's 'most productive' arable farms up for sale
- 7 First cases of monkeypox reported in Suffolk
- 8 Emergency services attending incident in Suffolk town
- 9 Torquay sign two released Ipswich Town players
- 10 Woman jailed for having sex with Ipswich schoolboy
Power has played under Cook before, making 38 starts and 11 substitute appearances as Wigan won the League One title in 2017/18, before ultimately being loaned and then sold to Sunderland by the Town boss the following season.
He has been released by the Black Cats this summer and is now a free agent, with Cook thought to be interested in his former midfielder, even though there was a feeling he was perhaps too attacking to play in one of the Town boss’s holding midfield roles but not suited to operating as a No.10.
Power, 27, captained Sunderland last season, making 51 appearances as the Black Cats lost to Lincoln City in the League One play-offs.
Also of interest is 22-year-old attacking midfielder Josh Hawkes, who can play centrally or in a wide role and has impressed in Sunderland’s Under 23 side this season, topping the Premier League 2 Division 2 scoring charts this season with 13 goals in 19 starts.
His only senior appearance for Sunderland since joining from Hartlepool in September 2020, where he made more than 60 appearances and scored 12 goals after coming through the youth system, has come in the EFL Trophy.
He has one year remaining on his contract and is understood to be keen to move on due to a lack of pathway to the first-team on Wearside.
The Blues have yet to make a signing this summer as Ashton and Cook look to rebuild the squad at a time when the vast majority of Town’s existing players have been told they can find new clubs.
Town are understood to have looked into the possibility of signing former England international striker Jermain Defoe, before ultimately being priced out of the move, while they have also been linked with former Ipswich striker Jordan Rhodes, prior to his move to Huddersfield Town.
The transfer window officially opens on June 9.