Marshall may be on the move

ANDY Marshall is close to ending his Portman Road nightmare by signing for a new club early next week.The Town keeper, who was handed a free transfer at the end of last season, and his agent are in advanced talks with his prospective new employers and he hopes to make his move within five days.

ANDY Marshall is close to ending his Portman Road nightmare by signing for a new club early next week, writes Derek Davis.

The Town keeper, who was handed a free transfer at the end of last season, and his agent are in advanced talks with his prospective new employers and he hopes to make his move within five days.

Out of respect to the goalkeepers already at the club, Marshall is staying tight-lipped about the new team, but admits it a switch he is relishing.

Marshall told me: “If something can be sorted then it is a club I would very much like to join.”

A number of clubs could fit the bill but I understand Premiership side Fulham are keen on the 28-year-old. The Cottagers have let Maik Taylor go out on loan to Birmingham City after he refused to accept playing second fiddle to Edwin van der Sar.

Marshall would also have to accept being No. 2 but it would be infinitely better than his current situation where he is behind Kelvin Davis and Lewis Price at Ipswich Town.

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It has been made clear he has no future at Portman Road and he is desperate to close an unhappy chapter of his career. Ever since he arrived on a free transfer from Norwich things have been difficult for him. A back injury ruled him out at the beginning of the 2001/2002 season and Matteo Sereni was brought in and stayed in front of him until he fell out with George Burley.

He lost his place after a dip in form but was back in favour when Sereni injured a thigh and also played poorly in a couple of games. Whenever he did badly Marshall suffered the extra torment of being a former Canary and the supporters got on his back.

A large number of goals conceded were attributed to him and new boss Joe Royle dropped Marshall in favour of James Pullen, who failed to take his chance.

Although he was frozen out and made to feel unwanted Marshall impressed coaching staff with his positive attitude and refused to mope about or speak out publicly on any negative feelings.

He said: “It is not a pleasant situation but there is no point in being grumpy about it. I will carry on being as professional as I can.”

New signing Davis from Wimbledon will start against Reading today but there is a question mark over fellow newcomer Drissa Diallo, who twisted an ankle in training yesterday. He will be tested this morning but if he fails to make it Georges Santos will drop back into the back four with Jermaine Wright going into the holding role.

There was more bad luck for Matt Bloomfield in training too, after he strained ankle ligaments in a challenge and will be out for up to a month. The midfielder from Trimley has only recently fully recovered from a serious knee injury.

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