The Ipswich Town players who could potentially move on during the January transfer window
- Credit: Steve Waller
Ipswich Town are looking to strengthen in a bid to challenge for promotion this season but, given they’re tight up against League One’s salary cap and are pushing the limit of 22 players over the age of 21, departures will be necessary before new faces can arrive.
With that in mind, we take a look at some of those who could be heading for the exit doors during the January transfer window.
Money on the table?
Flynn Downes was a Crystal Palace target right through the summer and up to the closure of the transfer window in October, to the extent the homegrown midfielder handed in a transfer request in a bid to force the move.
In truth, though, the two sides never got close to agreeing a fee as Town turned down offers which didn’t reach the £2million mark, with the Blues valuing him substantially higher than that.
The fact Downes hasn’t started a game this season and has played just 89 minutes of football due to a knee injury means that interest will all but have disappeared, for now at least, leaving Ipswich hoping he can return to the side and partner with long-time team-mate Andre Dozzell in the centre of the Town midfield.
Dozzell himself had admirers before putting pen-to-paper on a long-term deal of his own, while Kayden Jackson was a Bournemouth target back in the summer as Ipswich turned down an offer of more than £1million for his services.
He, like Downes, has seen his season disrupted by injury which has restricted him to one goal in 10 appearances. He’s out of contract this summer but Town have an option to extend his deal by 12 months, which they are almost certain to do.
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With Gwion Edwards now in the final six months of his contract, with the option already taken to cover this season, the Blues will be looking to tie the Welshman down to new terms or risk losing him for free in the summer.
He’s currently out injured, but his hot streak in September and October may just have caught the attention of sides in the lower reaches of the Championship, who would be in a position to offer a significantly higher wage due to the salary cap.
Should a new deal not be agreed and firm interest arrive this month, the Blues may just be tempted to try and recoup some of the £700,000 they spent on him in the summer of 2018.
A senior departure
Janoi Donacien has not featured in League One this season and looks the most likely to depart during this transfer window.
He’s performed solidly during his time on the field in cup competitions, most notably in the FA Cup loss to Portsmouth, but is clearly a way away from Paul Lambert’s first-team thinking at a time when the Town boss is hoping to welcome back Kane Vincent-Young in the coming weeks.
The versatile defender was also available for loan last January and was the subject of interest from a string of clubs. No deal was done, though. He’s out of contract in the summer.
Continuing on the right-back theme, Barry Cotter’s Ipswich career looks likely to come to an end when his deal expires in the summer, with the Irishman also a candidate for a January departure should he and the club find him a new home.
Armando Dobra was a player Lambert wanted to get out on loan in October, with the attacker preferring to stay and push for games at his parent club rather than head to Crawley.
He’s played five League One games since the transfer window closed, including starts in the last two so, as things stand, is unlikely to be available this month.
That could change quickly if injured players like Edwards and Freddie Sears are back in contention, while Idris El Mizouni’s return from his loan at Cambridge may also make opportunities harder to come by. El Mizouni himself is a potential loan exit later in the month, too, should the Blues find a home where he can play regular games.
Corrie Ndaba’s another who could use game time at the top of the National League or even League Two level, as could Brett McGavin should Town’s army of injured senior central midfielders be available once again. That’s a decision for the final days of the window, though, given McGavin’s good form while deputising for the likes of Cole Skuse, Teddy Bishop, Jon Nolan and Downes.
A string of teenagers could also head out on temporary deals, with the likes of Liam Gibbs, Tommy Hughes, Tyreece Simpson and Levi Andoh in the frame there.
In truth, player turnover during this transfer window is likely to be minimal.
The summer, however, is going to be a different story. Ipswich have 17 players who could reasonably be considered first-teamers out of contract, while plenty of younger players’ deals are up, too.
Some will be tied down before season’s end, of course, but some will undoubtedly leave and plenty of others will have to wait until Ipswich know which division they are going to be playing in next season before their future is secured. The salary cap complicates that hugely.
Should Ipswich desperately need to free up space in their 22-man senior squad to welcome a new addition this month, it’s not impossible senior players on the fringes could have their deals ended early by mutual content to make space for signings.
Ipswich Town contracts
Donacien*, Chambers, Ward, Huws, Judge*, Wilson*, Sears*, Jackson*, Bishop*, Nsiala*, Nydam*, El Mizouni*, Wright, Skuse*, Edwards, Drinan, Przybek*, Folami*, Morris*, Cotter, Clements*, Gibbs*, Andoh*, Z.Brown*, K.Brown*, Hughes*
Downes*, Norwood*, Lankester*, Kenlock*, Ndaba*, Crowe*, Smith*, Simpson*, Crane*, Holy, Nolan, Cornell*, Hawkins*, McGavin*, Chirewa*
*known to have a 12-month contract option