Town tight-lipped over striker interest

IPSWICH Town were today remaining tight-lipped over stories that they are interested in 28-year-old Greek international striker Angelos Charisteas.

Elvin King

IPSWICH Town were today remaining tight-lipped over stories that they are interested in 28-year-old Greek international striker Angelos Charisteas.

The Blues are said to be in talks with the 6ft 4in front man who headed the goal that won his country the European Championship in 2004.

Charisteas first interested Town in November 2001 when the then-European scout - and now head of international scouting and recruitment - Simon Hunt watched him play for Aris Salonika.

The striker, who has scored 19 goals in 68 games for Greece, is reported to be available for around £2.5million and his current club Nuremberg were relegated from the top German League last season and they are set to off-loan their more expensive players.An Ipswich Town spokesman said today: “We have nothing to add as we do not comment on speculation.”

It is believed that the Blues have shown interest in the player, as they scour the continent for a player who can net the 20 goals or so that could be the key to them gaining promotion to the Premier League.

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The high cost of recruiting a player with a similar potential goal output from another club in the UK is proving too high - hence Town boss Jim Magilton's interest in the foreign scene.

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.

Nicky Maynard, the young Crewe striker, has a fee on his head of £1.5million, which is some way above Magilton's valuations.

Magilton fancies he can gain more value from an established foreign finisher, so Charisteas would fit the bill.

There is likely to be considerable transfer movement at Portman Road next week, and with 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.

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.

Charisteas started his professional career with Aris Salonika before he joined Werder Bremen in 2002.

In 2005 in moved to Ajax in Holland but after one season left to sign for Feyenoord, where he spent another year.

Last summer Nuremberg paid the Rotterdam club 2.5m Euros for his services, Charisteas signing a three-year deal.

He came back into international prominence during this summer's European Championships in Austria and Switzerland when he scored Greece's only goal, a trademark header, in the 2-1 group stage defeat by eventual champions Spain. Greece went home without gaining a point.

Ipswich has a healthy Greek population who would be interested in the signing of one of their fellow countrymen.

Click here for Charisteas photo and video highlightsClick here for Charisteas photo and video highlights