Town lining-up triple swoop

SOCA Warrior Carlos Edwards is on the verge of being confirmed as an Ipswich Town player ahead of today's 5pm transfer deadline.

Stuart Watson

IPSWICH Town boss Roy Keane was closing in on a treble swoop last night ahead of today's 5pm transfer deadline.

Sunderland winger Carlos Edwards is set to sign for club after lengthy talks while Ipswich have made an offer for Sheffield Wednesday centre-back Richard Wood.

Town are also hoping to complete the signing of Edwards' Black Cats team-mate Grant Leadbitter.

Edwards, 30, arrived in Honduras last night with the rest of the Trinidad & Tobago squad ahead of Saturday's World Cup Qualifier, having spent the previous four days thrashing out personal terms with Ipswich chief executive Simon Clegg.

There are still a few details of the deal to be concluded, but the signs are that the right-winger, who can also play at right-back, will join the Suffolk club.

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Meanwhile, Ipswich are have made an offer to Wednesday for commanding defender Wood, 24, the longest-serving member of the Owls squad having come through the youth ranks. He is believed to be rated at about �800,000. Wood had a transfer request turned down last season and is yet to sign a new deal with the Hillsborough club.

It has been a frenetic few days for Town boss Keane, who is hoping to turn Town's fortunes around after a poor start to the season.

The Blues had agreed a fee with Sunderland for both Edwards and Leadbitter on Thursday but since then Roy Keane and Black Cats boss Steve Bruce admitted that negotiations were proving difficult.

The first round of contract talks saw Edwards leave Portman Road unimpressed but, with Keane desperate to strengthen his squad, Clegg has returned with an improved offer and a deal is now close to being reached.

Keane, who saw two of his former Sunderland players Dean Whitehead and Daryl Murphy reject moves to Ipswich earlier this summer, will certainly be relieved to land at least one of the players who proved instrumental in helping him get the north-east club promoted from the Championship in 2006/7.

Edwards, along with the likes of Premier League trio Kenwyne Jones, Jloyd Samuel and Jason Scotland, will have their first training session of a four-day international camp at 3pm today.

Following Saturday's match against Honduras, the Soca Warriors will then face the USA at their home ground of the Hasely Crawford Stadium, in Port of Soain, next Wednesday.

Edwards will then fly back to the UK and, should the deal be wrapped up in time today, would be in contention for Ipswich's next match, ironically back in the north-east, away at Middlesbrough.

Clegg will now spend today trying to conclude a deal for Leadbitter, who it is understood is keen on a switch to Suffolk, while there could yet be more arrivals in a frantic few hours at Portman Road.

A last-minute deal for Irish winger/striker Murphy could yet be revived after he rejected a move last month, while a move for fellow Sunderland player Nyron Nosworthy may also still be possible.

Nosworthy's agent said last week that the commanding centre-half would not be interested in dropping down to the Championship, but since then Sunderland have added two defenders to their squad.

They signed Ghanaian John Mensah on loan and yesterday added another defender when they completed the signing of Hull City's Michael Turner for an undisclosed fee.

Portsmouth have had one bid for Nosworthy rejected, but - should they not come back with an improved offer - the 28-year-old may consider a loan move to Ipswich to obtain regular first-team football.