Ipswich Town transfer rumours: 10 players the Blues may sign before January 31

Rotherham United's Danny Ward, left

Rotherham United's Danny Ward, left - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

During his four mid-season transfer windows Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy has made few signings – the most successful being Freddie Sears.

Marley Watkins, Barnsley

Marley Watkins, Barnsley - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

He says January is a difficult month to do business and this season the situation is complicated further by the fact that clubs can no longer make loan signings outside of the transfer windows.

The question everyone is asking, is will owner Marcus Evans break with tradition this year and get his cheque book out before January 31?

There are rumours today a bid for Preston striker Jordan Hugill has been rejected.

Speaking last Thursday, McCarthy said: “We’re still looking for strikers and so far we’re not having any joy. We’re just getting the same custard pies in our face at the minute.

“I could give you a litany of excuses. Not excuses actually, Just legitimate reasons. Clubs haven’t got their own signings yet, they haven’t got a big enough squad, they need to keep someone for cover with the African Nations coming up…

Preston North End's Jordan Hugill

Preston North End's Jordan Hugill - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

“I think the ones who have a player that people want will be asking for the absolute maximum and I don’t blame them at all.

“Sometimes it gets near the end of the window and it’s almost inevitable that they will go. When they do go they tend to go for a bit more than the initial bid and a bit less than they were wanting.

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“Then it’s like a pack of cards going over. Deals start to get done. We’ll see what happens.”

Here we look at 10 players Town have been linked with so far this month:

Danny Ward, striker for Rotherham

Danny Ward of Rotherham United.
Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Danny Ward of Rotherham United. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

The strong, left-footed front man has been identified as an ideal replacement for Daryl Murphy. The 26-year-old bagged 10 goals in all competitions for the Championship’s rock-bottom club, including two at Portman Road last October.

Mick McCarthy tried to sign him from Huddersfield in 2014 and has made an enquiry. Millers boss Paul Warne has said the club is not under pressure to sell their ‘best striker’ and yesterday it was reported that the Yorkshire club turned down a bid of £2m from an unnamed club.

Reported rivals for his signature, Derby and Huddersfield, have just signed strikers in the form of David Nugent and Izzy Brown.

Contract: 2017 Fee: £2m+ Probability: Outpriced

Cauley Woodrow, striker for Fulham

Cauley Woodrow, Fulham.

Cauley Woodrow, Fulham. - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Released by a Premier League club as a youngster (Tottenham), showed character to make his name in non-league (Buckhurst Hill and Luton) and now down the pecking order at his current club (Fulham) – Cauley Woodrow ticks many of Mick McCarthy’s usual boxes

The former England Under-21 international moved to the Cottagers for an undisclosed ‘six-figure fee’ in 2011, made his top-flight debut aged 19, but has mainly been used as a substitute in the Championship over the last two-and-a-half seasons.

Even with striker Chris Martin possibly set to be recalled from his loan at Craven Cottage, Woodrow – who has made just one league start this season – has been made available for loan by Slavisa Jokanovic. Town may prefer a permanent deal.

Contract: 2018 Fee: Loan Probability: Watch this space

Will Grigg, striker for Wigan

Northern Ireland's Will Grigg

Northern Ireland's Will Grigg - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Town are in desperate need of some feelgood factor and the well-known terrace chant associated with 25-yearold Will Grigg alone could bring that.

The Northern Ireland international was, indeed, ‘on fire’ when he fired Wigan to League One promotion last season with 29 goals.

He scored six in 11 at the start of this campaign, but then went on a 15-game barren spell before netting in last Saturday’s FA Cup win against Nottingham Forest. Has been linked to Town by The Sun on Sunday. The relegation-battling Latics will surely want to keep a key man.

Contract: 2018 Fee: £2m+ Probability: Unlikely

Marley Watkins, striker/midfielder for Barnsley

Michael Bostwick of Peterborough United battles with Barnsley's Marley Watkins. Photo: Joe Dent/JMP

Michael Bostwick of Peterborough United battles with Barnsley's Marley Watkins. Photo: Joe Dent/JMP - Credit: Joe Dent/JMP

Town had a £1m offer rejected last summer and could go back in for the 26-year-old player who is set to be out-of-contract this summer.

The versatile front man played for Cheltenham, Bath City and Hereford before winning the Scottish Cup Final at Inverness.

He played a major role in the Tykes’ promotion from League One and has six goals and six assists to his name so far this season. Bristol City are also reportedly interested in him. Barnsley look set to sell Sam Winnall to Sheffield Wednesday and will be loath to lose another front man.

Contract: 2017 Fee: £1m+ Probability: Unlikely

Jerome Sinclair, striker at Watford

Watford's Jerome Sinclair

Watford's Jerome Sinclair - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Only completed a £4m compensation-set move from Liverpool last summer, but is available for loan after making just one Premier League start this season.

Hornets boss Walter Mazzarri says he is a player with ‘great potential’ and may want to hold onto the 20-year-old if Odion Ighalo makes a big money move to China.

Championship clubs Derby and Brentford are also reportedly interested.

Contract: 2021 Fee: Loan Probability: Outside chance

Shay Logan, Right-back at Aberdeen

Aberdeen's Shay Logan

Aberdeen's Shay Logan - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Are Town looking to finally address the issue of right-back following years of skipper Luke Chambers playing out of position there?

Logan, a product of the Manchester City youth system, had three years in League One with Brentford and is now in his third season in the Scottish Premiership with Abderdeen.

He has spoken about wanting to be nearer his children ‘down south’.

Contract: 2019 Fee: £200k Probability: Maybe in the summer

Max Power, midfielder at Wigan

Wigan Athletic's Max Power

Wigan Athletic's Max Power - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

The energetic 23-year-old Liverpudlian midfielder started out at Tranmere before making a compensation-set switch to Wigan in 2015 and playing a key role in the Latics promotion back to the Championship.

Premier League club Crystal Palace were said to be monitoring him last summer.

The Daily Mail have reported that the Latics have turned down offers from Town, Brentford and Birmingham this month.

Contract: 2019 Fee: £1.5m+ Probability: Maybe if Wigan go down

Oliver Hawkins, striker at Dagenham & Redbridge

Dagenham & Redbridge striker Oliver Hawkins

Dagenham & Redbridge striker Oliver Hawkins - Credit: Archant

Following a summer switch from National League South side Hemel Hempstead, the 6ft 4in striker has scored 16 goals for high-flying National League side Dagenham & Redbridge this season.

Football transfer website Here In The City reports that Town, Rotherham and Brighton are keeping tabs.

Mick McCarthy has, however, said he is looking for players with Championship experience.

Contract: 2018 Fee: £250k Probability: Possible

Richie Towell, midfielder at Brighton

Dundalk's Richie Towell (left)

Dundalk's Richie Towell (left) - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Mick McCarthy is a long-term admirer of the Dublin-born attacking midfielder, but missed out on the former Celtic man when he switched from Irish side Dundalk to Brighton in November 2015.

A knee injury and heavy competition for places has limited him to just three appearances for the Seagulls, but Chris Hughton says he has ‘no desire’ to loan the player out following his impressive comeback performance in last Saturday’s 2-0 FA Cup win against MK Dons.

That stance could change if the Championship leaders sign a striker this month.

Contract: 2018 Fee: Loan Probability: Reliant on other deals

Kyle Bennett, winger at Portsmouth

Doncaster Rovers' Kyle Bennett

Doncaster Rovers' Kyle Bennett - Credit: PA

The flying right-winger, 26, impressed against Town in the FA Cup last season. It’s understood the Blues had a deadline day bid for him rebuffed last August.

Portsmouth are fourth in League Two, but former Doncaster player Bennett is in the final six months of his contract. The value of promotion means Pompey may rather risk losing him on a Bosman this summer than cashing in now.

Contract: 2017 Fee: £500k to £1m Probability: More likely in the summer

Who do you think Town should sign? Share your thoughts below or email Ipswich Town reporter Stuart Watson