A club-record signing, some big Bosman exits and vultures circling – How Ipswich Town’s League One rivals are shaping up
- Credit: Archant
It’s early in the window, but there’s plenty of plenty of League One transfer talk. STUART WATSON looks at how Ipswich Town’s rivals are starting to shape up.
POSH MEAN BUSINESS
Peterborough United chairman Darragh MacAnthony has already sanctioned six deals, insisting 'we are serious about getting into the Championship' after Darren Ferguson's men just missed out on the play-offs in 2018/19.
The most eye-catching piece of business is a 'club record' deal for Bristol City striker Mo Eisa. The 24-year-old was prolific in the lower leagues for Greenwich Borough and Cheltenham but barely played for the Robins.
He's cost more than the £1.25m that Posh paid for Britt Assombalonga back in 2013.
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"Every top club in League One and two Championship clubs wanted Mo," said MacAnthony. "It's a real 'wow' signing for us. The manager (Darren Ferguson) loves him and believes he and Ivan Toney could be the best strike partnership in League One."
Goalkeeper Christy Pym (Extere), left-back Dan Butler (Newport County) and experienced centre-back Mark Beevers (Bolton) are all Bosman free transfer additions, the latter replacing key man Ryan Tafazolli (out of contract).
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A six-figure fee was paid to land teenage winger Serhat Tasdemir from AFC Fylde, while defender Frazer Blake-Tracy arrives from Norfolk non-league club King's Lynn.
Bids have been rejected for strikers Ivan Toney and Matt Godden.
SUNDERLAND SALES BEGIN
The Black Cats now head into the final year of their Premier League parachute payments. Start playing the tiny violins, it's just the £15m this time around.
The beaten pay-off finalists have already sold Ivory Coast international defender Lamine Kone to French club Strasbourg, high-earning full-backs Adam Matthews and Bryan Oviedo could also follow out the exit door, while winger Lewis Morgan is unlikely to return following a loan spell from Celtic.
You have to wonder whether Bolton Wanderers could be a club that goes on a downward spiral just like Blackpool, Coventry and Portsmouth did when slipping into the third-tier.
Last month, the Trotters became the first English Football league side to be put into administration since Aldershot Town in 2013. The Lancashire outfit will start next season with a 12-point deduction.
Former Watford owner Laurence Bassini continues to insist he will complete a £30m takeover from Ken Anderson in what has become a very messy situation. While all this drags on, a mass exodus of players - who were repeatedly paid late last season - has begun. Contracted players are within their rights to hand in their notice.
Phil Parkinson will be left with a late scramble to fill his squad.
POMPEY BRACED FOR BIDS
It looks a case of when, not if, Portsmouth cash in on star men Matt Clarke and Jamal Lowe this summer. Brighton looks set to be where former Town defender Clarke will end up, a fee of £5m reported, while several Championship clubs are interested in winger Lowe, rated at around £2m.
Right-back Nathan Thompson could also reject a new deal at Fratton Park, leaving Kenny Jackett with some big gaps to fill in his squad.
THE BIG BOSMAN EXITS
Tranmere will see prolific striker James Norwood, the man who fired them to back-to-back promotions, sign for Ipswich on a free transfer next week after he rejected a new deal. Rovers manager Micky Mellon has been linked to the vacant Swansea job.
AFC Wimbledon, who somehow escaped relegation, have seen captain Deji Oshilaja depart at the end of his contract.
Bristol Rovers skipper Tom Lockyer turned down a new deal, the Welsh international now set to choose between several Championship clubs, as well as Portsmouth.
Mid-table Gillingham have seen ever-present keeper Tomas Holy sign for Ipswich at the end of his contract. They've signed Jack Bonham, on a free from Brentford, as his replacement.
Veteran centre-back Andy Butler rejected a new deal at Doncaster to return to his boyhood club of Scunthorpe. It remains to be seen whether experienced winger Ross Wallace extends his stay at Fleetwood.
Powerful striker Carlton Morris is highly-rated by Norwich City. He recently signed contract extension at Carrow Road until 2021 before joining Rotherham on a season-long loan.
The 23-year-old, who missed the whole of last season with a cruciate knee ligament injury, was the focal point of the Shrewsbury side that Paul Hurst guided to a third-place League One finish in 2017/18.
The Millers, who bounced back to the Championship at the first time of asking in 2017/18, have also signed experienced Welsh midfielder Shaun MacDonald on a free from Wigan.
Boss Paul Warne is bracing himself for departures though, with Ryan Williams, Joe Newell, Jon Taylor and Anthony Forde all mulling over contract offers.
STEPPING UP FROM NON-LEAGUE
Peterborough aren't the only club to sign players from non-league this summer.
Blackpool have signed Tanzanian striker Adi Yussuf after he scored 21 goals for Solihull Moors in the National League last season.
Shrewsbury have brought in Nigerian front man Daniel Udoh after he netted 26 goals in the National League North for AFC Telford United.
DANNY IN DEMAND
There were 59 places between the sides when National League side Lincoln City beat Championship outfit Ipswich Town in the FA Cup back in January 2017. Two-and-half years on they will be division rivals.
The Imps rise has led to inevitable speculation about the future of manager Danny Cowley. He has played down links to the vacant jobs at Championship clubs West Brom and Middlesbrough.
Jason Shackell, Matt Rhead and Josh Vickers have all signed new deals at Sincil Bank.
ALL CHANGE AT COV Coventry finished eighth on their return to League One. Mark Robins has released nine players and seen four loans expire, with four new faces already having arrived in the form of experienced defender Kyle McFadzean (Burton, free), young right-back Fankaty Dabo (Chelsea, free), as well as keepers Ben Wilson (Bradford, free) and Marko Marosi (Doncaster, free).
The Sky Blues, still in a row with the Ricoh Arena, could yet be forced to ground share with Birmingham City in 2019/20.
SHAKE UP AT SHAKERS
Bury bounced back at the first time of asking, but their League Two promotion party lacked fizz.
Steve Dale only took over the club in December, but put it up for sale in April. Players were regularly not paid on time on their way to a second-place finish and have voiced their discontent.
Manager Ryan Lowe has left to join a Plymouth - a club that were relegated to League Two. Key midfielder Nicky Adams has walked away from his contract to sign for Northampton.
The Greater Manchester club return to the High Court on June 19 to face a winding up petition over an unpaid tax bill.
DONS DUO TO DEPART?
Strike duo Chuks Aneke and Keiran Agard scored 41 goals between them last season to fire MK Dons to automatic League Two promotion - both have been offered new deals, but could depart on Bosman frees.
Paul Tisdale has already moved to sign forward Joe Mason on a free from Wolves, as well as the versatile Brennan Dickenson (Colchester, free) and midfielder Hiram Boateng (Exeter, compensation).
Wycombe chairman Trevor Stroud says the club will have 'comfortably the lowest budget in League One, while some League Two and National League sides will have a higher budget than us'.
Six players have been released. Star midfielder Dominic Gape could move on.