Marcus Evans issues hands-off warning to Premier League clubs regarding Ipswich Town’s key players

Tyrone Mings was a Crystal Palace target back in August. Photo: Sarah Lucy Brown

Tyrone Mings was a Crystal Palace target back in August. Photo: Sarah Lucy Brown - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Town owner Marcus Evans has issued a hands off warning to Premier League clubs ahead of the January transfer window.

The Blues turned down big money offers for key striker David McGoldrick and rising star Tyrone Mings on August transfer deadline day – around £7.5m and £2.5m from top-flight duo Leicester City and Crystal Palace respectively.

And now, with Mick McCarthy’s side fourth in the Championship table with more than a third of the campaign gone, managing director Ian Milne insists the club is far more likely to spend than sell in the New Year.

“Marcus has said to me that he has got the message out very strongly to agents ‘don’t think, as a Premier League club, you can come and make silly offers for our players – don’t bother to ask’,” said Milne.

“Our strategy is to keep our current squad. It’s having some success and we want it to be our Premier League promotion side.”

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McCarthy has been restricted almost exclusively to free transfers, loans and swap deals during his two-year tenure with Evans adhering strictly to new Financial Fair Play rules.

Clubs such as Nottingham Forest, Bournemouth and Leeds could well face a transfer embargo in the New Year as a result of over-spending though, meaning the Blues may have an advantage for the next year-and-a-half before the level of allowed investment from owners goes back up again at the start of the 2016/17 campaign.

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“It has created a bit of a window for us,” admitted Milne. “We’re in a good place.

“We’ve never said there is no money to buy new players. If circumstances mean that we need to invest, Mick and Marcus would talk and agree the appropriate strategy. Mick is continually, through Dave Bowman, our chief scout, looking at opportunities that might arise in the transfer market.

“We know the value of our players and we know the value of other players as well. We’ve recruited wisely before and that will continue to be our strategy.”

With McCarthy having said he would speak to Evans about the possibility of transfer funds should his side still be in the promotion mix come January, Milne said: “Marcus is really relishing it at the moment and enjoying it. I’m sure that, depending on the circumstances, he’s going to look positively at things that Mick will come to him with.

“Mick will not come to Marcus with the idea of squandering millions though. He’s got a good squad and he’ll want to compliment it without upsetting the team spirit.”

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