The ins and outs still expected on transfer deadline day at Ipswich Town
- Credit: Archant/PA
The summer transfer window closes at 11pm tonight. Andy Warren looks at what could still happen at Ipswich Town before the deadline passes.
The story so far
This really has been a window like no other at Ipswich Town. The most hectic in the club’s history.
More than 20 senior players have departed as Paul Cook played 'Demolition Man', with the group led by stalwarts Luke Chambers and Cole Skuse and headlined by young stars Flynn Downes and Andre Dozzell, with the Ipswich squad unrecognisable from the one which finished last season so flatly under Cook.
And in the 91 days CEO Mark Ashton has been at the football club, he and Cook have made 17 signings at an average of around one every five days. Chances are there are more to follow, too, before tonight’s 11pm deadline.
The cleanest of clean slates.
The Town bosses got the ball rolling with the arrivals of Wes Burns and Lee Evans, before Rekeem Harper, Macauley Bonne, Vaclav Hladky and Matt Penney followed. Then it was Joe Pigott and Scott Fraser, transfers seven and eight, before George Edmundson, Conor Chaplin, Louie Barry and Sone Aluko arrived before the start of the season.
Kyle Edwards and Hayden Coulson followed a week later, with Cameron Burgess, Tom Carroll and Christian Walton arriving prior to transfer deadline day. A deal for Bersant Celina was completed this morning.
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All the indications are Ipswich won’t be stopping there.
Still to do
Eighteen have arrived and more could still follow.
Celina has long been seen as the ‘cherry on top’ of Town’s summer transfer business, with Ashton and Cook building their attacking unit as planned and then hoping to add Celina on top of that. And they appear to have got their man with persistence being the key.
Now Celina’s signing is confirmed, the main order of business is adding to Cook’s midfield engine room.
Midfielder Sam Morsy is a leading target there, though any deal is a complicated one as the Blues bid to convince Cook’s former captain to drop back into League One at a time when he is happy at Middlesbrough and has Championship clubs monitoring his situation. Boro need convincing, too, with Neil Warnock’s side not itching to sanction his exit and certainly wanting new arrivals of their own before doing any deal.
Should a move for Morsy not be possible, then it’s understood there are further midfield options on the agenda.
Right-back has also been a position of interest for Town as Cook looks for serious competition for Kane Vincent-Young, though recruiting another defender is not understood to be at the top of the list during the final hours of the window.
Given what’s gone before in this transfer window, surprise additions in other areas of the field must not be ruled out before the 11pm deadline. Anything is possible.
With 24 senior first-team players now in the building and more possibly following, exits are surely on the agenda as Cook looks to get his squad down to a manageable level.
Walton’s arrival means Tomas Holy’s chances of playing games behind the new man and then Hladky are extremely limited, but it’s understood the Czech goalkeeper has not garnered much interest at all this summer and could very well remain at the club beyond the deadline.
Kayden Jackson is another who has been available with few takers. The former Accrington man has been back in the first-team picture of late but will likely drift away again once James Norwood and Conor Chaplin are fit. It’s one Ipswich may consider should an offer come their way but, again, don’t rule out Jackson staying beyond the end of the month and adding further depth to Cook's squad.
Departures for Norwood and Jon Nolan, who are both survivors from last season, are unlikely but can’t be entirely ruled out. Speaking on Friday, Cook said: “Where that leaves Jon going in to the transfer window, myself and Jon will discuss all those options and different stuff and obviously any decisions made will only be for the benefit of Ipswich Town and Jon Nolan himself.
“We’re not looking to get Jon Nolan out, that’s the truth, and you have to be careful with these lads.”
One man certainly available is Myles Kenlock, who has been exiled from the first-team this summer and has been told he has no future at Portman Road. There has been little interest in the left-back, with Sutton United keen earlier in the window but not following up.
He is the last remaining member of the six-strong group of players sent to train with the Ipswich youngsters this summer, with Downes, Jack Lankester and Brett McGavin moving on and Jackson and Armando Dobra pushing their way back into the first-team.
Should he remain past the deadline, then mutual termination could be a possibility.
Armando Dobra will have his loan move to Colchester confirmed tomorrow, though it's understood League One clubs looked to swoop late to capture a player many away from Ipswich are surprised to see become available.
The 20-year-old has been praised by manager Cook in recent days but, with a wealth of attacking options and Celina likely to come on top of them, first-team opportunities are severely limited. This is his big chance to impress and return to Suffolk next summer, having pushed his claim.
Others needing regular football include Idris El Mizouni, who has spent time on loan at Cambridge and Grimsby in recent seasons, but it’s understood the Blues are in no rush to fix him up with a temporary move. He, like Dobra, will find opportunities extremely limited and needs more than monthly Papa John’s Trophy games in order to progress.
Others who could be available to the right clubs include Cameron Humphreys, Bailey Clements and Elkan Baggott.
Ipswich Town summer transfer window 2021
IN (18): Wes Burns (Fleetwood, undisc), Lee Evans (Wigan, free), Rekeem Harper (West Brom, undisc), Macauley Bonne (QPR, loan), Vaclav Hladky (Salford, undisc), Matt Penney (Sheff Weds, free), Joe Pigott (AFC Wimbledon, free), Scott Fraser (MK Dons, undisc), George Edmundson (Rangers, undisc), Conor Chaplin (Barnsley, undisc), Louie Barry (Aston Villa, loan), Sone Aluko (Reading, free), Kyle Edwards (West Brom, free), Hayden Coulson (Middlesbrough, loan), Cameron Burgess (Accrington Stanley, undisc), Tom Carroll (QPR, free), Christian Walton (Brighton, loan), Bersant Celina (Dijon, loan)
OUT (22): Andre Dozzell (QPR, £1m), Flynn Downes (Swansea City, £1.5m), Luke Chambers (Colchester, free), Gwion Edwards (Wigan, free), Cole Skuse (Colchester, free), James Wilson (Plymouth, free), David Cornell (contract terminated, joined Peterborough), Freddie Sears (Colchester, free), Alan Judge (Colchester, free), Oli Hawkins (Mansfield, undisc), Jack Lankester (Cambridge Utd, undisc), Aaron Drinan (Leyton Orient, undisc), Stephen Ward (Walsall, free), Teddy Bishop (Lincoln, undisc), Harry Wright (Fleetwood, free), Adam Przybek (Wycombe, free), Tyreece Simpson (Swindon, loan), Corrie Ndaba (Salford City, loan), Emyr Huws, Tristan Nydam (both released), Liam Gibbs (Norwich City, undisc), Brett McGavin (King's Lynn, loan).