Town set to have foreign strike force

IPSWICH Town are set to have a double-pronged foreign strike force in the Coca-Cola Championship next season.

Elvin King

IPSWICH Town are set to have a double-pronged foreign strike force in the Coca-Cola Championship next season.

With the high cost of recruiting a 20-goal a year goalscorer from another club in the UK, Blues boss Jim Magilton is concentrating his search on Europe and South America.

With Spaniard Pablo Counago set to lead the Town front line - although Alan Lee and Jordan Rhodes in particular will be disputing that position - another foreign import would see Ipswich having a continental feel in attack.

Magilton, who is also still searching for an experienced goalkeeper and a resilient left back, feels that gaining the signature of a proven marksman will be the key to the Tractor Boys fulfilling club owner Marcus Evans' quest for a Premier League place.

The unproven Kyle Lafferty has moved from Burnley for £3million, the inconsistent Iain Hume has left Leicester for Barnsley for £1.2million and youngster Martin Paterson has switched from Scunthorpe to Burnley for £1million.

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Magilton fancies he can snap up an established foreign finisher for similar figures, and this is where his attentions are currently focussed.

There is likely to be considerable transfer movement at Portman Road next week, and with international scout Simon Hunt now installed in his pivotal role potential targets are being assessed.

Magilton picked up 50-cap Macedonian international midfielder Velice Sumulikoski for less than half a million pounds in January and the 27-year-old made an immediate impact.

The Town manager is searching for a similar catch with his net being spread far and wide across the continent.

Magilton has already admitted having an interest in Barcelona striker Josi Emilio Guerra.

The 26-year-old, who plays for Barcelona B in the lower echelons of the Spanish league, does not have the senior experience that Magilton would prefer.

But he has scored 86 goals in 132 appearances and would come at a lower price than a similar player in this country.

Magilton confirmed: “If I could get Guerra I would. We did make an enquiry to Barcelona. I have been to see him play and he is a top-quality striker who has a tremendous goal-scoring record.”

Town coach Steve Foley has also watched many games in Spain over the last 12 months, while chief scout Steve McCall has been a regular visitor to the continent for a couple of years.