Town set for a timely Chopra boost

THE signing of Cardiff City striker Michael Chopra would be just the boost to lift Ipswich Town fans in the week leading up to the new Championship campaign.

And it could happen with Blues manager Roy Keane believed to have had further contact with the Welsh club over the sale of a proven goalscorer who played under Keane at Sunderland in the Premier League.

The majority of Ipswich fans are at a low ebb at the moment with precious little faith that 2010/11 will turn out any better than the last few barren seasons.

In complete contrast to 12 months ago, there is no air of expectancy surrounding the club and even - it could be said - a certain amount of apathy.

This could be changed at a stroke with the signing of a player who fans have been hoping all summer would move to Portman Road.

Town manager Keane has said that he may go to club owner Marcus Evans for extra financial assistance over his quest to bring in keeper Marton Fulop.

And if he can lessen his wage bill by adding the sale of Owen Garvan - and the other five still at the club but on the manager’s ‘available’ list - to that of Alex Bruce with the say-so of Evans he could up his interest even further in Chopra – the man he sees providing the goals along with Connor Wickham and Tamas Priskin to compete for promotion.

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The Fulop deal is back on again after some midweek argy-bargy between Town and Sunderland and if Keane can land the Hungarian international and the free-scoring Chopra then Town’s hopes of challenging for promotion would become potentially much more of a reality.

Bruce completely his �200,000, rising to �300,000, move to Leeds yesterday.

Leeds manager Simon Grayson said: “We tried to sign Alex a year ago when we were in League One.

“Ipswich wouldn’t let him go, then we got a call a week ago to say he was available, and everything got agreed.”

“Alex has got a lot of experience, he’s played in the Championship and the Premiership and he’s what we want - a player who knows the division, is hungry and wants to be successful.”

Bruce spent four years at Portman Road, making 127 appearances and scoring three goals.

Keane is understood to have a midfielder in mind to replace Garvan if the 22-year-old completes his move to Crystal Palace. But he has confirmed that he is not looking to bring in a right back before the season starts.

Following the departure of David Wright and Liam Rosenior, Keane is left with few options to play on the right side at the back.

But he says that it is not an issue: “Things change not by the day, but by the hour.

“But right back isn’t an issue as we’ve got Jaime Peters and Jack Ainsley and I’m happy with them.

“We’re looking at a goalkeeper, and it depends what happens with Owen Garvan over the next few days whether we need another midfielder.

“And we’ve always said we are looking at a striker.”

Gareth McAuley has been named in the Northern Ireland squad for their friendly in Montenegro on Wednesday August 11. This means the defender will not be available for Town’s Caring Cup tie at Exeter the previous day.

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