'That's news to me' - Hurst responds after reports of Derby closing in on Waghorn deal
PUBLISHED: 21:41 24 July 2018 | UPDATED: 03:37 25 July 2018
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Ipswich Town boss Paul Hurst did little to play down reports of Martyn Waghorn being close to a move to Championship rivals Derby County.
The Blues leading marksman from last season has been the subject of intense transfer speculation for much of the summer, with Sheffield United having a £5m bid knocked back and Blades boss Chris Wilder claiming the Blues have an asking price of between £8m and £10m.
But it’s Derby County, led by Frank Lampard who was interviewed for the Ipswich vacancy prior to Paul Hurst’s appointment, who are said to be winning the race according to the Daily Mail.
The report says Derby are ready to pay a fee potentially reaching £8million for the striker and that Waghorn has expressed his desire to leave Portman Road.
“Nothing’s changed since the weekend,” Hurst said, following the Blues’ 1-0 win at MK Dons this evening, in which Waghorn was an unused substitute.
“If they are then it’s news to me. If anything has changed then I am sure, when I switch my phone on, then I’ll be getting a call.
When asked whether Waghorn has expressed a desire to move on, Hurst replied: “I’ve spoken with Martyn. I’m not going to dilvuge right at this moment in time what that conversation was. But we have had a conversation.
So him not featuring tonight was purely down to you just looking at other forward options?
“Possibly. (wry smile and laughs)…. Possibly.”
Hurst continues to work to bring in players before the August 9 deadline but admits he is finding the going tough in the transfer market.
“I feel like it’s Groundhog Day,” Hurst said. “Every time I open my eyes we start the process of trying to come up with something new or hoping that a situation has chaaged, with news of perhaps bodies coming in - whether it’s in that area (strikers) or not.
“Just because Ellis has come in that’s not end of our business. The lads did well tonight, but we certainly need more bodies still. Every Ipswich Town fan and yoursleves can see that. We talk about being patient. It is a testing time. It’s testing my patience but we’ll get there in the end.
When asked if he could put a number on how many new players he needs, Hurst replied: “I better not because I mighth scare the owner! We still need a few more, that’s for sure.”
Luke Chambers remains the Blues’ only senior centre-back at present, although Luke Wolfenden has impressed having played plenty of minutes during pre-season.
But Hurst says he is looking for two new central defenders, with a move for Blackpool’s Curtis Tilt still very much alive.
“We’re looking at a couple of lads,” Hurst said. “Credit to Luke Woolfendedn, he’s looking a good player, but is he ready to play 46 games of the season? We all know that’s certainly not the case. That’s nothing against him. Between him and Luke Chambers they are the only recognised centre-backs that we have.
“We have a couple of players who can fall in there, but if that happens then we get stretched in a couple of other areas. Certainly that’s the most obvious place where we need strengthening - whether that’s lads to come in and start or compete.”