'He was a player we spoke about' - McKenna on rumoured target Matete

Sunderland signed Fleetwood midfielder Jay Matete late in the January transfer window.

Sunderland signed Fleetwood midfielder Jay Matete late in the January transfer window. - Credit: Sunderland AFC

Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna admits Jay Matete was a player the club 'spoke about' during the January transfer window, but insists that an offer wasn't made.

Sky Sports reported that Town made a bid of £650k for the Fleetwood midfielder on January 28, but the 20-year-old, who caught the eye at Portman Road earlier in the season, ended up joining Sunderland late on transfer deadline day. 

"He's a player we were aware of and had spoken about - obviously he'd played against Ipswich earlier in the season," said McKenna.

"It's the same situation with all players. There are funds and backing there from the club to make moves if we think that is the right thing for the club going forward.

"At this time we thought that we had good cover and good options in those positions. After Tyreeq (Bakinson) came in on loan we didn't feel it was a position we needed another body in.

Tyreeq Bakinson celebrates Towns victory over Accrington Stanley.

Ipswich Town signed midfielder Tyreeq Bakinson on loan from Bristol City in January. - Credit: Steve Waller - stephenwaller.com

"We're happy with what we have in that position.

"We're obviously a big club in this division and in the country and we get linked with a lot of players. Our name is involved with any player, probably, that moves at this sort of level. 

"I see our name was involved with that player as well, but there as no movement from us on that one in January."

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Bakinson and Dominic Thompson were the two new fresh faces to arrive at Ipswich during January, with nine players departing either permanently or on loan.

New signing Dominic Thompson at Hillsborough.

New Brentford loanee Dominic Thompson made his debut in last weekend's 1-0 defeat at Sheffield Wednesday. - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

"We are very keen to work towards a plan where possible and not panic or rush into any decisions," said the Northern Irishman. "It's not just about the short-term, but also keeping an eye on the medium and long-term plan and making sure we don't make any rash or hasty decisions that could affect what we want to do in the summer and beyond that

"I'm happy with what we've done and happy with the vision we have. Everybody is working off the same page here.

"I'm looking forward now to having the clear focus of the next three months, hopefully longer, with the group of players that we have. We'll finish the season as strongly as we can, win as many games as we can, and wherever that takes us I'm sure we'll be going into the summer window in a really strong position in terms of the backing and the support that we have here from the owners."