Lee Camp was all set to sign for Ipswich Town before rivals Norwich City stepped in

Lee Camp

Lee Camp - Credit: Chris Ratcliffe/Focus Images

LEE Camp was all set to sign for Ipswich Town before East Anglian rivals Norwich City stepped in.

After agreeing a settlement over the final few months of his Nottingham Forest contract, the 28-year-old keeper underwent a medical with the Canaries yesterday ahead of a proposed free transfer switch.

The EADT understands that it was only a late offer from the Norfolk club that scuppered a Town switch though, with Camp having been impressed when meeting McCarthy towards the end of last week.

A source close to the Northern Ireland international said: “It was touch and go with regards coming to Ipswich. Mick McCarthy was absolutely brilliant when Lee spoke to him, but in the end Norwich came in and the chance to go to the Premier League was too good an opportunity to turn down.”

Camp – who was told he could move on by new Forest boss Alex McLeish – had worked with Blues goalkeeping coach Malcolm Webster as a youngster at Derby County. And we understand he was ready to sign for the Championship club after McCarthy had personally outlined his ambitious plans for the future.

However, having been refused the chance to speak to Swansea last summer after the Welsh club had lodged a £1.5m bid, the custodian has longed to test himself in the Premier League.

Injured England international John Ruddy is facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines, but Camp – who played three games on loan for the Canaries in 2006 – may still have to make do with a place on the bench behind Mark Bunn. Chris Hughton’s side are currently seven points above the relegation zone following a return of one points from a possible 18.

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Having seen Stephen Henderson’s loan spell from West Ham end recently, McCarthy will now switch his sights to new keeper targets – though a new arrival may now be postponed until the summer.

Scott Loach has performed superbly since regaining his place in the side, conceding just two goals in matches against Aston Villa, Cardiff and Barnsley. And the 24-year-old – a fans’ favourite due to the fact he grew up supporting the club – may now be given the second-half of the season to prove himself as the club’s No.1.