It could be a revolving door at Portman Road on transfer deadline day

Ryan Tunnicliffe

Ryan Tunnicliffe - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy could be forced to wheel and deal ahead of tonight’s 11pm transfer deadline.

While there have been no bids for star performers Aaron Cresswell and David McGoldrick, losing in-form midfielder Ryan Tunnicliffe is a possibility as struggling Premier League side Fulham – managed by ex-Manchester United coach Rene Meulensteen – are reportedly weighing up whether to make a move for the Red Devils loanee.

The Cottagers’ priority was to sign a midfielder ready to help them in their relegation fight, with a source inside the club playing down the prospect of Tunnicliffe moving there when contacted yesterday.

However, after bringing in Danish international William Kvist on loan from Stuttgart yesterday, it’s understood that Meulensteen has now turned his attentions to adding young players for the future and that a deal could for Tunnicliffe could yet be done.

Should he depart, the Blues – four points adrift of the play-off places at the 28-game mark – would have just 17 fit outfield first-teamers heading into three matches against sides in the bottom half (Bolton at home tomorrow, followed by Barnsley away and Blackpool at home).

It’s understood that an enquiry has been made to Leeds about the possibility of a loan for industrious Irish midfielder Paul Green, the 30-year-old well down the pecking order at Elland Road.

McCarthy has used the joint-fewest players in the Championship so far this season (24), with veteran player-coach Alan Lee, as well as academy trio Kyle Hammond, Matt Clarke and Byron Lawrence, having all been on the bench of late.

The Blues boss signed 30-year-old Middlesbrough right-back Frazer Richardson on loan earlier this week and admitted that another fresh face would provide a lift, though he did add that he will be restricted to free transfers, loan deals and swaps.

Wolves turned down a loan bid for striker Kevin Doyle earlier this week and the prospect of that deal being thrashed out is unlikely. The League One club are refusing to subsidise a percentage of Doyle’s £40,000-a-week wages, while Town are unwilling to pay much beyond £15,000-a-week.

Odds on Connor Wickham returning to Town on loan tumbled to 2/5 yesterday, but a source close to the player has told the EADT and Ipswich Star that his former employers have not approached Sunderland. The Black Cats recalled the England Under-21 international on Monday after he scored eight goals in 10 games on loan at Sheffield Wednesday.

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Although the window for permanent signings and half-season loans closes tonight, the ‘emergency’ loan window opens again in a week’s time during which clubs can sign players for 93 days at a time.

– Mick McCarthy’s pre-match press conference is at 1.30pm today. Keep an eye on this website, and follow @Stuart_Watson on Twitter, for all the latest Blues news.

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