‘Nobody will leave until I think we can get people in’ – Lambert on January transfer plans
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Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert says he won’t sanction any player departures until he has signed the players he wants in January.
With the Blues eight points adrift of safety at the foot of the Championship table, Lambert has said he is keen to strengthen his squad sooner rather than later when the transfer window opens in the new year.
The recruitment drive will centre around players with Championship experience, almost certainly on loan, and those sort of deals are not likely to come cheap.
Lambert says there is no expectation to reduce the wage bill in order to do the business he wants to do though.
Jonas Knudsen will be entering the final six months of his contract, high-earning goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski dropped to the bench for last weekend’s 2-0 defeat at Stoke, while it’s understood there are clubs showing loan interest in players on the fringes of Lambert’s first team.
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“Nobody will leave until I think we can get people in, nobody,” stressed Lambert.
“I will not sanction anyone to go out until I think we can get people in who can help us. Maybe then I might let one or two go out, but until then I’ll never release anyone.
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“We need everybody here. I know some lads are in the last year of their contracts and I can’t stop that, because that was before my time.
“I need to look at the club’s interests and I won’t put any player’s interests before the club. That’s important.
“If we bring players in maybe you will look at letting players out on loan or something like that, but before players come through this door then nobody will leave.
“There are one or two out of contract in the summer and we have to look at that.”
Asked if he might look to his former club Stoke for signings, potentially for the likes of out-of-favour duo Charlie Adam and Peter Crouch, Lambert smiled broadly.
“Crouchy...” he said, before tailing off. “They are two good guys and I have no problem with either of them but they are ones that, because I’m an ex-Stoke manager, they are unfair to talk about.
“There are players we’ve identified to try and get.
“Ideally you want ones who know this league and that’s what I’m looking at because we need a bit more experience.
“I don’t mind young ones coming in at certain times but we need more experience.””
On the EADT and Ipswich Star’s report that Town are scouting the European leagues, Lambert said: “I won’t turn away from anything. If they are good enough to come in then I will look at it. They can be young. If there’s a hunger there and they want to come then great.
“But predominantly we need lads who know the league, plus higher.”
Lambert, who has passed his list of targets to owner Marcus Evans, said: “I know what’s going on. I spoke to Marcus the other day and we know where we’re going and trying to do which is great. Things are ongoing.”
Asked if there was a set budget, he added: “Money doesn’t always guarantee success so it’s about trying to get the right people in.
“I won’t put the club in a position where we spend money on the wrong people. I have to look after it.
“(Experienced) players are (on big money) and that’s why you need the hungry ones. You have to try and sell the club to them. The other side of that (financial negotiations) needs to come from the people above me.”
Town look set to cancel the loans of Tayo Edun (Fulham) and Jordan Graham (Wolves) in January and have the option to recall Josh Emmanuel (Shrewsbury), Luke Woolfenden (Swindon), Tristan Nydam (St Johnstone) and Ben Morris (Forest Green).
“I’ve not looked that far,” said Lambert, when quizzed on the above. “I know what’s happened with it but I’ve not looked that far in terms of ins and outs.”
IPSWICH TOWN CONTRACTS
IN LAST YEAR (WITHOUT EXTENSION OPTION)
Gerken, Wright, Knudsen, Bishop, McKendry
IN LAST YEAR (WITH EXTENSION OPTION)
Chambers, Ward, Adeyemi, Spence, Kenlock, Emmanuel, Woolfenden, Morris, C.Smith
CONTRACTED UNTIL 2020
Skuse, Edwards, Harrison, Roberts, Dozzell, Downes, Rowe, Sears
CONTRACTED UNTIL 2021
Bialkowski, Nsiala, Nolan, Jackson, Huws, Folami, Cotter, Nydam, Drinan
LOANS FOR SEASON
Donacien (to become permanent), Pennington, Chalobah, Edun, Graham