Movers and non-movers

IPSWICH Town have been stuck in the starting blocks, as far as signing new players this summer.

And many of their Championship rivals have stolen a march, none more so than East Anglian rivals Norwich City and newly-promoted Leeds United, who have almost been signing players for fun during pre-season.

In fact, many Town fans might be worrying whether this current lack of concrete activity, in the transfer market, could mean another dreadfully sluggish start to the new campaign – Roy Keane’s men did not win any of their first 14 league games of last term.

Keane himself has insisted that he is “happy with the numbers” in his squad, but the Irishman will be stepping up his search for new blood over the next fortnight, with some of his own transfer-listed players expected to leave.

With the exception of the little-known Conor Hourihane, signed from Sunderland last week, Town have not added to their squad.

That is in stark contrast to several other Championship clubs, who have been able to recruit early and so include the new faces in their pre-season programme.

In addition to newly-promoted Leeds and Norwich, the likes of Barnsley and Coventry have also been busy in the transfer market, while Middlesbrough boss Gordon Strachan has already spent in excess of �5m on players.

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But Town fans should not despair.

There is still plenty of time to sign players. Last season, the trio of Carlos Edwards, Grant Leadbitter and Liam Rosenior did not arrive at Portman Road until the end of August, by which time seven games had already been played.

And whereas some clubs have been busy in the transfer market, others like Portsmouth, Cardiff, Nottingham Forest, Leicester and Bristol City have not.

Pompey are still hampered by a transfer embargo and remain in administration, Cardiff have their own financial worries and new Leicester boss Paulo Sousa is yet to make a permanent signing.

Furthermore, a glut of new signings does not necessarily equate to a successful season, as Town proved to their own cost last term!

Below is a selection of the movers and non-movers in the transfer market over the last couple of months:


LEEDS UNITED: They have welcomed six new signings, since earning automatic promotion from League One. The big guns, recruited by manager Simon Grayson, include Swindon goal poacher Billy Paynter and Notts County keeper Kasper Schmeichel. Neill Collins (Preston), Federico Bessone (Swansea), Paul Connolly (Derby) and Lloyd Sam (Charlton) have also moved to Elland Road in recent weeks.

NORWICH CITY: Ex-Colchester United boss Paul Lambert did not waste any time in strengthening his squad. He has made seven signings, the latest being tricky front-runner Simeon Jackson from Gillingham. Lambert’s other new faces are Colchester United midfielder David Fox, John Ruddy (Everton), Andrew Surman (Wolves), Andrew Crofts (Brighton), Elliott Ward (Coventry) and Steven Smith (Rangers).

BARNSLEY: There has been a lot of transfer activity at Oakwell, both with ins and outs. At least five players have been signed, including full-back Jay McEveley from Derby. McEveley was linked with a move to Ipswich last season. Liam Dickinson (Brighton), Jason Shackell (Wolves) and Gorran Lovre (Groningen) will also start the new season with the Tykes.

COVENTRY CITY: Aidy Boothroyd, another former Colchester manager, has not been slow to bolster his squad at the Ricoh Arena. Front-runners Gary McSheffrey and Roy O’Donovan have been snapped up from Birmingham and Sunderland respectively, while defender Richard Keogh, previously linked with Colchester, has joined, as has Stephen O’Halloran from Aston Villa.

MIDDLESBROUGH: Big-money stars like Kevin Thomson (�2m from Rangers), centre-half Stephen McManus (�1.5m from Celtic) and midfielder Nicky Bailey (�1.4m from Charlton) have already arrived at the Riverside. Kris Boyd also completed his move from Rangers and Andrew Halliday has travelled south from Livingston.

SHEFFIELD UNITED: Rob Kozluk (from Barnsley) and Steve Simonsen (from Stoke) head the list of new players at Bramall Lane. Experienced defender Nyron Nosworthy has also been snapped up on a season-long loan from Sunderland. Swansea’s Leon Britton and Barnsley’s Daniel Bogdanovic have also signed for the Blades on permanent deals.


PORTSMOUTH: Although slapped with a transfer embargo, new boss Steve Cotterill has at least managed to recruit Ibrahima Sonko on a season long loan, subject to approval from the Football League.

BRISTOL CITY: Manager Steve Coppell is considering new purchases after so far just recruiting midfielder Kalifa Cisse from Reading and winger Albert Adomah from Barnet. His squad is also riddled with injuries to key players such as last season’s leading scorer Nicky Maynard, ex-Town attacker Danny Haynes and skipper Louis Carey.

CARDIFF CITY: It remains a struggle for Dave Jones to hang onto his star players, like Michael Chopra, Jay Boothroyd and Peter Whittingham, due to the Welsh club’s mounting debts, although he has made one addition in Tom Heaton on a free transfer from Manchester United.

LEICESTER CITY: Paulo Sousa was only appointed to the Foxes hot seat just over a fortnight ago, and has so far been content to run his eye over his current squad, with the exception of defender Miguel Vitar, signed on a season-long loan from Benfica.

NOTTINGHAM FOREST: Manager Billy Davies was angered that James Perch’s move to Newcastle was all done and dusted before he even knew about it! His plans have also been hit by injuries to his strikers David McGoldrick (out for three months) and Dele Adebola (out for a month). There has been little move in the transfer market, but then Forest did impress last season, losing in the play-off final to Blackpool.

IPSWICH: To date, just teenager Conor Hourihane has been recruited from Sunderland. But Sunderland keeper Marton Fulop and Cardiff defender Gabor Gyepes have been linked with possible moves to Portman Road, and Cardiff striker Michael Chopra has been a target all summer. Free agent Steve Finnan, a full-back, has also been mentioned.

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