Jim closes in on first signing

JIM Magilton is closing in on his first new signing as Ipswich Town manager and is hopeful of unveiling the player this afternoon.Although the defender has Under-21 international experience it is not, as widely reported elsewhere, the Leeds United full-back Dan Harding.

By Derek Davis

JIM Magilton is closing in on his first new signing as Ipswich Town manager and is hopeful of unveiling the player this afternoon.

Although the defender has Under-21 international experience it is not, as widely reported elsewhere, the Leeds United full-back Dan Harding.

The player has agreed terms but the deal is still at a delicate stage as the two clubs haggle over the finer points of the transfer and the EADT has agreed not to reveal the name of the player until the deal is completed so as not to jeopardise the move.


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Magilton has been keen to bring in a sturdy, versatile player to bolster the defence and their target has experience in both the Premiership and the Football League, and will go straight into the squad to face Crystal Palace in the Championship season opener at home on Saturday.

The Blues boss confirmed that, while Harding is a player who has interested them, he has not been offered as a part-exchange for keeper Shane Supple.

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Magilton last night said: “We have not had a firm offer for our player, it is all conjecture at the moment. We are close to another player but it has not been finalised as yet.”

The EADT reported early last month that Harding was understood to have been offered as part of a deal that would have taken Darren Currie to Leeds United but nothing has materialised as yet.

Earlier this week Blues' chief executive Derek Bowden revealed that four Town players had been the subject of offers from four different clubs from the Premiership and Championship but the club was in a strong enough position to reject all four bids.

Magilton is hopeful that he can follow today's expected arrival with at least one more player before the weekend, with Manchester United's Paul McShane still one of the possibilities.

Meanwhile, Owen Garvan is expected back at Ipswich tomorrow for the results of a blood test after spending a couple of days with his family in Dublin but he will not play on Saturday.

Gavin Williams should be available after a recent groin problem, while Nicky Forster and Dean Bowditch, who both picked up minor strains against Lazio last Friday, should be fit.

derek.davis@eadt.co.uk

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