No planned pre-season spending spree

IPSWICH fans expecting boss Jim Magilton to embark on a pre-season spending spree are in for a shock.The fact that ex-Town star Darren Bent's £16.5 million move from Charlton to Tottenham was finally concluded today will not trigger a frenzy of transfer activity at Portman Road.

By Mel Henderson

IPSWICH fans expecting boss Jim Magilton to embark on a pre-season spending spree are in for a shock.

The fact that ex-Town star Darren Bent's £16.5 million move from Charlton to Tottenham was finally concluded today will not trigger a frenzy of transfer activity at Portman Road.

Manager Jim Magilton will continue to pursue his number one target, Blackburn striker Francis Jeffers, but the Bent deal does not loosen the purse strings as significantly as some supporters might imagine.


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Town will pocket in the region of £2.8m thanks to a sell-on clause when Bent, 23, moved to Charlton two years ago in a £2.6m deal that guaranteed them 20 per cent of any future profit.

But, as with all transfers, the Addicks will collect their cash over a period of time - three years in this case - and that, in turn, will stagger the payments due to Ipswich.

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While grateful for the cash windfall, Town are in no position to blow the entire amount in one fell swoop in a bid to fund a season-long promotion challenge.

Some of the cash will have to be used towards the anticipated shortfall on season ticket sales after some fans decided against renewing.

Ipswich are biding their time in their attempt to prise Jeffers away from Blackburn, who are also holding out for a fee as close as possible to their original £1m asking price.

With interest from one or two other Championship clubs it remains to be seen whether Town win the race for the ex-England man's signature or whether he moves elsewhere.

Magilton has other players on his wanted list and Ipswich are refusing to be held to ransom over a player who scored four goals in nine loan appearances at the end of last season.

They are keen to sign him but they are not prepared to pay over the odds and could quite easily switch their search elsewhere if Blackburn stubbornly refuse to budge.

But Bent's switch across London at least ensures Ipswich will profit, albeit over a period of years rather than with a cheque for £2.8m being deposited in their bank account over the next few days.

Today's deal smashes Spurs' transfer record, which was previously the £11m paid for Sergei Rebrov, and Bent said: “Tottenham have a lot of young English players and it's a young squad, it's a squad going forward and that's the direction I wanted to take.

“They seem to be getting better and better every season and I would love to be part of that.

“It helps a lot that I know a few of the lads from England internationals and I'm sure they will help me settle in.

“It's exciting times for me and the club, hopefully I'll show what I can do at Tottenham and we'll go on to win things.”

Bent has agreed a deal “up to six years” according to the club's announcement on the Stock Exchange.

Tottenham also confirmed the fee will be paid over the next three years in instalments and it is understood the final £1million of the deal is performance-related.

Bent, whose 15 goals last season could not prevent Charlton escaping the drop, recently rejected a £17m move to West Ham.

He bolsters a Spurs attack that scored more than 60 goals last season, and that was without Mido who is expected to leave White Hart Lane.

Dimitar Berbatov and Robbie Keane were manager Martin Jol's first choice for the big games, with Jermain Defoe adding 18 goals.

The form Berbatov and Keane means Bent is considered third choice at the moment, while Defoe's chances of first-team opportunities are even less clear.

Spurs sporting director Damien Comolli said: “The two signings we've completed so far in Darren and Gareth Bale offer us massive improvement in terms of the squad, players with great potential whose best days are to come.”

Charlton chairman Richard Murray added: “Realistically, it was always going to be difficult to hang on to a player of his quality following relegation, but we feel we have negotiated the best deal possible for the club and, after a payment to Ipswich, it's a sum of money that will cushion the effects of relegation for the club.”

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