Town could tempt Wolves into Stearman sale

IPSWICH Town transfer target Richard Stearman will line-up at Portman Road for Wolves today – and while a switch between the clubs looks unlikely on the surface, don’t rule it out just yet.

Quick, strong, a towering 6ft 3in and a cultured player to boot, you can see exactly why Paul Jewell is interested in the defender. Especially as he is equally adapt at playing centre-back and right-back – both positions the Blues boss is keen to strengthen.

But why would the Premier League club – whose visit to Suffolk today completes Ipswich’s pre-season programme ahead of next Saturday’s Championship opener at Bristol City – want to sell one of their most promising assets?

A former England Under-21 international who is still only 23, he played 31 games in the top-flight last season and has been a regular in the club’s pre-season thus far.

It might not be that simple though.


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Wolves boss Mick McCarthy has cleaned out his transfer kitty with the summer signings of Roger Johnson (�4.5m) and Jamie O’Hara (�3.5m) and this week admitted he is now a position where he would have to sell to buy.

“There’s still quite a lot of time to go in the window actually and who’s to say there might be someone leave and someone else come in?” said the Yorkshireman. “It won’t be Matt Jarvis, Kevin Doyle or Steven Fletcher (leaving). But something might happen. I’m not expecting it, but it could.”

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The first choice centre-back partnership at Molineux is currently Johnson and Christophe Berra, with Stearman – whose best form came in the middle of defence last season – being pushed back out to right-back this summer. And with Ronald Zubar returning to fitness, that place could also be in jeopardy.

So Ipswich, with owner Marcus Evans’ millions and the �8.1m received for Connor Wickham, could yet tempt Wolves into a sale. Though it would surely take at least double the �1m which has so far been reported.

n Stearman faces a fight for his place, plus Ipswich v Wolves preview – page 2 of today’s Green’Un supplement.

n What do you think? Should Town bid for Stearman? E-mail us: sport@eadt.co.uk

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