Downes a top target for Peterborough
- Credit: Steve Waller-www.stephenwaller.c
Peterborough United have made Ipswich Town midfielder Flynn Downes one of their top summer transfer targets, we understand.
The newly-promoted Championship club will do all they can to try and lure the 22-year-old away from Portman Road over the coming weeks, though they will face competition for his signature.
Barnsley, who finished fifth in the Championship last season but have just seen manager Valérien Ismaël join West Brom, are also believed to have shown interest.
Whether a deal can be struck remains to be seen. It's a delicate situation.
Following an impressive League One season for Town in 2019/20, Downes handed in a transfer request after the Blues had rejected a bid of £1.6m from Premier League club Crystal Palace.
An injury-hit season later, the former England U19 international's value will have depreciated. His current deal expires next year, but a one-year extension option in the club's favour means he is a protected asset until 2023.
Blues boss Paul Cook has made it clear he only wants players who are 'totally committed' to the club, with Downes one of six senior players told to start pre-season training with the Under-23s.
Ipswich won't want to lose a key player on the cheap though and time will tell if their valuation of the player is met by suitors in a depressed Covid-affected market.
Another potential hurdle would be how high Downes has set his sights. Peterborough, for example, might struggle to persuade him to join a club that has the potential to return to the third-tier in the near future.
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Posh are reportedly close to bringing striker Jack Marriott back to the club after the former Ipswich's striker's contract at Derby expired.
Including loanees, 20 senior players have already departed Portman Road this summer and more are set to follow. Cook and chief executive Mark Ashton are looking to completely rebuild the squad with the backing of the club's new US-based owners, with five new signings so far in the building.
IPSWICH TOWN TRANSFER WINDOW SO FAR
IN (6): Wes Burns (Fleetwood, undisc), Lee Evans (Wigan, free), Rekeem Harper (West Brom, undisc), Macauley Bonne (QPR, loan), Vaclav Hladky (Salford City, undisc), Matt Penney (Sheffield Wednesday, free)
OUT (14): Andre Dozzell (QPR, £1m), Luke Chambers (Colchester, free), Gwion Edwards (Wigan, free), Cole Skuse (Colchester, free), James Wilson (Plymouth, free), David Cornell (contract terminated), Freddie Sears (Colchester, free), Alan Judge (Colchester, free), Oli Hawkins (Mansfield, undisc), Jack Lankester (Cambridge Utd, undisc), Aaron Drinan (Leyton Orient, undisc), Stephen Ward, Emyr Huws, Tristan Nydam (all released).
LOANS EXPIRED (6): Mark McGuinness, Luke Matheson, Josh Harrop, Keanan Bennetts, Luke Thomas, Troy Parrott.