Ipswich Town top target Tomasz Kuszczak offered better deal at Brighton so keeper search continues

PAUL Jewell has revealed that Ipswich Town were priced out of a move for top target Tomasz Kuszczak after the keeper chose to join Championship rivals Brighton.

The 30-year-old met with the Blues boss at Town’s Playford Road training ground earlier this summer and while impressed with what he saw and heard, he last month agreed a two-year deal with Gus Poyet’s side.

The Polish international said at the time that he had been swayed by the ambition of Brighton, suggesting they offered him the best chance of a return to the Premier League.

But Jewell said: “I think Brighton offered him a fantastic deal – it is as simple as that. I spoke to him in my office but you have to work within the framework.

“I don’t understand why he went but Brighton are a good club. He was impressed with the place but at the end of the day, we aren’t a club who can get a player in here and just expect him to sign.”

It means Ipswich started pre-season training this week with just one recognised keeper on their first-team books – Arran Lee-Barrett.

This week saw another rumoured target Brad Guzan set to rejoin Aston Villa while Tom Heaton’s hopes of signing for Watford appear to have stalled after the club was taken over and manager Sean Dyche sacked.

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Scott Loach, another Hornets stopper, continues to be wanted by some sections of Town fans and Jewell admitted he had “two or three targets”.

The manager said he would be happy to look at the lower leagues, with Ben Williams leaving Colchester United on Tuesday and Gillingham’s Paulo Gazzaniga remaining in the frame.

Another intriguing option is Eldin Jakupovic, a one-cap Swiss international, who is currently on a week-long trial with Town.

The 27-year-old was close to being offered a deal at Hull City last season and Jewell, who refused to rule out signing Jakupovic and another stopper, admitted his initial impressions were good.

The manager said: “We’ve got the lad on trial, who has looked good. I know Hull City were very keen on him last season and they offered him a deal, then the manager changed, and that changed.

“We’re having a look at him for the week, but we’ve also got two or three other targets which, even if that happens, we might pursue. But that doesn’t mean that Arran Lee-Barrett’s out of the picture.”