Town hot on the trail of Icelandic defender

IVAR Ingimarsson could become Ipswich Town’s first summer signing later this week.

IVAR Ingimarsson could become Ipswich Town’s first summer signing later this week.

The EADT understands that Town boss Paul Jewell’s first transfer target is a defender, and Ingimarsson is believed to be in talks with the Suffolk club.

Ingimarsson, an Icelandic international, was released by Reading at the end of last season following a successful eight-year stay at the Madejski Stadium.

Centre-half Ingimarsson, who will celebrate his 34th birthday in August, rattled up 282 senior appearances for the Royals and was an ever-present during their promotion-winning campaign to the Premier League in 2005-06.


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Knee and hamstring injuries have hampered his cause in recent years, and he did not make his first appearance of last term until Reading’s 3-0 win at Doncaster on January 15.

However, Ingimarsson went on to be a key man in the Royals’ surge into the end-of-the-season play-offs, with Brian McDermott’s men losing just two of the 12 games that he featured in.

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He certainly proved to be one of the bargain buys of Reading’s history – he cost just �175,000 from Wolves in 2003 – and was installed as the new club captain by previous manager Brendan Rodgers two years ago.

Steve Coppell, the manager who had signed Ingimarsson, later insisted that he had been his best ever signing.

Capped 30 times by Iceland, Ingimarsson first arrived in England in 1999 for a loan spell at Torquay, only for Brentford to step in and snap him up on a permanent deal later that year.

He has not looked back since, and only two months ago, after coming on as a 16th-minute substitute, frustrated Ipswich with a calm display at the back in a 3-1 win at Portman Road.

There will no doubt be slight concerns over his age, and recent injury record, but he could prove a shrewd acquisition for Jewell, especially as the Town boss is eager for an experienced defender to replace the departed Gareth McAuley.

Town are down to just two senior centre-halves at the club, in the shape of Damien Delaney and Tommy Smith, who are both left-sided defenders, following McAuley’s move to West Brom and the subsequent exits of Tom Eastman (to Colchester United) and Troy Brown (turned down the offer of a new contract).

Town had been hoping to unveil a new face yesterday, but talks are still ongoing with Ingimarsson the likely target.

Meanwhile, Town are one of five Championship clubs reported to be tracking Leeds United midfielder Neil Kilkenny.

Hull, Burnley, Nottingham Forest, Bristol City and Town have all been linked with Australian international Kilkenny, who is out of contract at Elland Road and has turned down the offer of a new contract.

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