Ins, outs and likely further business - The state of play at Ipswich Town
- Credit: PA
It's been a hectic summer of ins, outs and transfer speculation at Ipswich Town. STUART WATSON provides a round-up ahead of the pre-season campaign getting underway this weekend.
OUTS: David Cornell had his contract terminated by mutual consent and has since signed for Championship club Peterborough. Young duo Harry Wright and Adam Przybek were released. Wright has signed for Fleetwood.
IN: Vaclav Hladky. The 30-year-old Czech was previously hailed as one of the best goalkeepers in the SPL, during his time at St Mirren, and was recently named in the League Two Team of the Year after keeping 22 clean sheets for Salford City.
He arrives at Portman Road for an undisclosed fee, believed to be at the lower end of the six-figure bracket, and will almost certainly start the season as the new No.1.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS? Time will tell if Tomas Holy moves on this summer or stays and fights for a place. If he does leave, the Blues would need another keeper.
OUT: Luke Matheson, who only made two appearances last season, has gone back to parent club Wolves.
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ANY OTHER BUSINESS? Kane Vincent-Young is back in training, with the hope that he can put almost two years of injury frustration behind him.
His current understudy is Janoi Donacien, who manager Paul Cook is assessing following his return from a loan spell at Fleetwood.
New signing Wes Burns (more on him later) is also capable of playing at right-back.
Don’t rule out a further addition in this slot though. If there is one, Donacien will almost certainly move on.
Mark McGuinness’ loan from Arsenal expired. He has since signed for Championship club Cardiff.
LINKS: The Blues are understood to be interested in Everton’s Lewis Gibson. The 20-year-old has previously had loan spells at Reading and Fleetwood.
MISSES: The Blues made a lucrative offer to Luton Town captain Sonny Bradley, but he ultimately opted to sign a new deal at Kenilworth Road.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS? With just Luke Woolfenden, Toto Nsiala and Corrie Ndaba as centre-back options, arguably two new signings are needed for this position.
Expect one to be an experienced campaigner who could potentially end up wearing the armband.
OUT: Veteran left-back Stephen Ward was released at the end of last season.
IN: Matt Penney has been snapped up on a free transfer following his release by Sheffield Wednesday. The 23-year-old can play anywhere down the left side and has 28 Championship appearances to his name.
LINKS: The Blues are understood to be keen to sign Middlesbrough’s Hayden Coulson. The versatile 23-year-old has 46 Championship appearances to his name.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS? The interest in Coulson suggests Myles Kenlock’s time at Town is up. The 24-year-old has started pre-season training with the Under-23s.
OUT: QPR triggered a £1m buy-out clause in Andre Dozzell’s contract, while Cole Skuse, Emyr Huws and Tristan Nydam were all released. Skuse is among the army of ex-Blues to join Colchester in League Two. Huws has been on trial Doncaster.
IN: Lee Evans turned down a new deal at Wigan to be re-united with his former boss Paul Cook at Portman Road. The 26-year-old will bring some experience, physicality and a good range of passing to the deep midfield role.
Rekeem Harper, 21, has arrived from West Brom for an undisclosed six-figure sum. The former England U19 international is a dynamic, box-to-box player.
LINKED: Richie Smallwood is understood to be a player of interest to Ipswich Town. The 30-year-old captained Hull to League One promotion last season.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS? There’s every chance that Flynn Downes departs before the window shuts. He handed in a transfer request last summer and is attracting plenty of Championship interest.
That would leave Town with just Jon Nolan competing with Evans and Harper for those two deeper midfield positions.
Is another one required? Possibly. The versatile Penney can play there though. And if Matt Crooks signs (more on him next), he is also capable of playing deeper.
Cook has said he wants to work with a tight-knit squad.
OUTS: Alan Judge was released and has joined Colchester. Josh Harrop’s unsuccessful loan from Preston has ended.
LINKS: Town have had two bids for Matt Crooks knocked back by Rotherham. The 6ft 4in midfielder has been earmarked for the No.10 role. If the Blues pull this one off, before Championship suitors make their move, it would be a major coup.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS? Teddy Bishop is among those training with the U23s. He’ll likely be off soon, with Lincoln the first to make a move.
As it stands, Town only have Armando Dobra and Idris El Mizouni as options for the No.10 role.
OUTS: Gwion Edwards turned down a new deal to sign for League One rivals Wigan. Freddie Sears was released and has signed for (you guessed it) Colchester. Jack Lankester has joined newly-promoted League One side Cambridge United for an undisclosed fee. Luke Thomas and Keanan Bennetts have returned to their parent clubs.
IN: Wes Burns. Town paid an undisclosed fee, believed to be in the low six figures, to sign the 26-year-old from Fleetwood. He can play anywhere down the right side.
LINKS: The Blues are trying to bring former loan star Bersant Celina back to Portman Road. The Kosovo international was part of a Dijon side relegated from the French top-flight last season. Again, Town face Championship competition, so this would be another major statement of intent if the deal gets done.
Town are also understood to be interested in Arvin Appiah, the direct-running former England U19 international who made an £8m move from Nottingham Forest to Spanish second-tier club Almeria in 2019.
The experienced Michael Jacobs, who played under Cook at Wigan, is also a player the Blues have shown interest in. Portsmouth boss Danny Cowley doesn’t want to sell the 29-year-old, but admits ‘every player has a value’.
We understand that a national report of interest in Crewe's Owen Dale was overstated.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS? Town are looking very short in the wingers department. At the very minimum, two are required.
OUT: Oli Hawkins and Aaron Drinan, both very much on the fringes last season, have joined League Two clubs Mansfield and Leyton Orient respectively for nominal fees. Troy Parrott is back at Tottenham.
IN: Macauley Bonne. The 25-year-old returns to his boyhood club on a season-long loan from Championship outfit QPR.
Sunderland’s Wyke, who bagged 25 League One goals last season, now looks set for a move to either Celtic or the Championship, Defoe penned a new deal at Rangers, while Stockley has signed permanently for his recent loan club Charlton.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS: As it stands, Bonne and James Norwood will be competing for that central striker spot in Cook’s favoured 4-2-3-1 system. Kayden Jackson is training with the U23s and could well be used in some sort of swap deal further down the line.
I’ve got a feeling there could still be a marquee signing to come in this position.