Lee move a step close

ALAN Lee's £200,000 move to Ipswich Town last night took a step closer when Cardiff City secured Steven Thompson from Glasgow Rangers.The Bluebirds have already signed Guylain Ndumbu-Nsungu from Darlington on a Bosman free and the possibility of getting Michael Ricketts back from Leeds United has meant manager Dave Jones is happy about allowing Lee to leave.

By Derek Davis

ALAN Lee's £200,000 move to Ipswich Town last night took a step closer when Cardiff City secured Steven Thompson from Glasgow Rangers.

The Bluebirds have already signed Guylain Ndumbu-Nsungu from Darlington on a Bosman free and the possibility of getting Michael Ricketts back from Leeds United has meant manager Dave Jones is happy about allowing Lee to leave.

Blues chairman David Sheepshanks and City supremo Sam Hamman are still locked in negotiations, with the Welsh club adamant they want at least £200,000 for the Republic of Ireland international.


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Lee, who was thrown on in the dying moments of Cardiff's 2-1 cup exit at Arsenal, is believed to be keen on joining Town, after his £850,000 move from Rotherham to City did not work out.

He has scored 10 goals in 92 appearances, many as a substitute, and last year was forced to take a pay cut when the Bluebirds' finances were shaky.

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Lee is believed to have dropped from £5,000-a-week to £3,500, a wage that Town will match and a deal could be struck today.

The Blues are also looking to bring in at least one more striker, probably on a loan deal, and that could also be done this week.

Royle is keen to secure new players before the visit of Sheffield United on Saturday.

He said: “We are playing well but we have not got the goal threat that we need, which is why we have been scouring the country.

“We are still looking to bring in at least one, perhaps two, strikers. One on loan and one for a bit of cash.”

Scotland international regular Thompson's arrival in Cardiff will also fuel speculation that England Under-21 Cameron Jerome will leave Ninian Park, along with Lee, for a fee in excess of £2m, although Jones is not happy about managers talking about his stars.

He said: “I don't talk about players that aren't mine, so I wish they would stop doing it to me.”

Royle will hope to get Nicky Forster back in time for the Blades' visit on Saturday and the former Reading striker is due back in full training this week.

Man of many positions Richard Naylor limped away from the cup defeat by Portsmouth and he will be examined today to see how bad his injury is.

Ipswich Town's Under 18s suffered a hangover in their first game back after the Academy winter break with a 6-1 defeat at West Ham.

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