'The money people are asking for is ludicrous… outrageous' - Lambert on January transfer progress
PUBLISHED: 15:24 20 December 2018 | UPDATED: 18:28 20 December 2018
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Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert was asked about his transfer progress ahead of the opening of the January transfer window, with the Blues boss discussing potential targets, pitfalls and selling his vision.
There was a link to Ben Marshall of Norwich the other day, who you had at Wolves and Blackburn. Might he be a January target?
PL: We can be linked with anyone you want but where some of the names come from I have no idea. Some of them are bizarre and just make me laugh.
I know Ben really well because he played under me but if you’re going to do that you may as well link every player who has played under me.
Would it be feasible, in general terms, to loan a player from Norwich to Ipswich?
PL: It doesn’t matter to me where the players come from if I think they are good players and I think they can help us.
It’s about what they can do for this club and, first and foremost, it’s about players who want to be here.
Whether the player is at Norwich or wherever, it doesn’t matter to me.
In general are you getting positive vibes? Are some deals getting closer?
PL: The money people are asking for is ludicrous… outrageous, some of it. So we have to look at that.
We have to try and work really hard to get people in.
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Do you think Marcus (Evans) will loosen the purse strings more than he might wish to?
PL: Yeah, but you’re still talking a helluva lot of money on top of things.
But I won’t put the club in danger. I’d never do that and I will do what’s right for the club and right for us.
First-and-foremost I need to get people who want to come here and the salaries and everything that goes with loans is incredible.
Do you think it will be a hard sell, given geography and the current league position?
PL: There are a lot of things but you will also get people who want to come here because it’s a really good club and we’re playing well at this moment in time.
But you can’t have a dressing room full of people who won’t make an impact because then you will make your own problems. People who don’t want to be here – those kind of things.
I’ll just wait and see over the next few weeks.
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I guess you will be confident of convincing people to come here if you can meet them, show them around here and sell them your vision?
PL: That will give you a chance but when you go for a loan it’s not as simple as ‘you’re going to come here’.
It’s loan fees, wages and those sort of things coming into play.
We have to work as hard as we can to get the right ones in.
It sounds like there is a sense of frustration around the business so far. Maybe it’s not been quite as easy as you had hoped?
PL: No, no. I’ve been involved in this game for years and I know the way it works in January.
I don’t lose sleep over it, I don’t worry about and it is what it is.
The club’s trying everything they can to bring players in but, some of the names I see, I do wonder where people pluck them from. It’s incredible
Whoever does come in, you want them for the right reasons.
I never get caught up in the January window because I know the way it can go.
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People know you need players so maybe the price goes up accordingly. Can you afford to play the negotiating game right until the end of January?
PL: In an ideal world you will try and get them in but you can’t let the club go into a dangerous position financially. That’s suicidal.
Clubs can go to the wall and that’s not right. We have a duty of care to the football club.
We want guys who want to be here and you also have to get over the hurdle of finance, which can be pretty brutal at times.
Have you spoken to any players who have told you ‘I don’t really fancy it, thank you’?
PL: I’ve not spoken to anybody directly, nothing like that. I know Marcus has done a lot of work behind the scenes and that’s ongoing.
We’ll see in the next few weeks.
The sell to these players will be about them coming here to play games and be part of something big?
PL: That will be it.
It will be about coming to help us. The need for that is evident in a lot of areas of the pitch, not just forward areas.
We’re a young side and we need that bit of experience.
Once they’re down here I’m pretty sure they will love it.
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Do you have a number of how many players you need in mind?
PL: Yeah, yeah.
Has that changed since you’ve been here?
PL: No, I still think the figure I had was roughly right. I’ve said when I got here that the squad was unbalanced in a number of areas. Top heavy in some, very low in others.
I still think that number is the same.
And decisions on whether to recall loans or send back others won’t be made until you start to slot in players?
PL: I won’t even give letting players out of here a second thought (until then) because we need everybody.
Until somebody comes through the door it would be a crazy decision to allow someone to leave.
Is Jordan Graham an exception to that? He’s been training with Oxford.
PL: Jordan won’t be back. No.