Late flurry of transfers on horizon
IPSWICH Town’s summer transfer activities, so quiet for so long, are now simmering and about to bubble over.
The entry door and exit door at Portman Road should be creaking on their hinges over the next fortnight, as the ins and outs gather pace before the start of the new season.
The goalkeeping position might not appear to be the most pressing concern for Town boss Roy Keane, with Brian Murphy and Arran Lee-Barrett already at the club, but the arrival of Sunderland keeper Marton Fulop is in the pipeline.
Keane is also on the look-out for at least one defender, and probably two, with a full-back and centre-half on top of his agenda, in addition to another striker.
But much also depends on how many of the eight transfer-listed players move on. To that end, Owen Garvan’s favoured switch to Crystal Palace could be finalised next week, although personal terms could be a stumbling block.
The departure of Alex Bruce, which seemed probable with Sheffield United the favoured destination, is now likely to depend on whether Keane can bolster the defence following Damien Delaney’s recent long-term injury.
Bruce’s exit, at the moment, would leave Keane with just two recognised senior centre-halves in Gareth McAuley and Tommy Smith, with the inexperienced Tom Eastman and Troy Brown as back-up. Crucially, Bruce can also operate as a right-back, a position that Town are also struggling to fill.
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As yet, Keane has completed just one signing, in the shape of teenage midfielder Conor Hourihane from his old club Sunderland.
A second recruit from the Stadium of the Light is on the horizon, with Fulop desperate to leave. Town are believed to have already tabled a bid for the Hungarian, in excess of �1m, and tellingly the 27-year-old has not gone with the rest of the Black Cats squad on a pre-season tour to Portugal.
Two more Hungarians are also in the Portman Road spotlight.
Cardiff City centre-half Gabor Gyepes is believed to be a target of Town, with the 29-year-old former Wolves and Northampton defender struggling to get a game towards the end of last season. Gyepes is renowned as being powerful in the air, and a strong tackler, alhough he lacks a little pace.
Town’s own Hungarian, striker Tamas Priskin, continues to attract the interest of Swansea City’s new boss Brendan Rodgers.