Town's Red Letter day

IPSWICH Town are hoping that a letter from the bank within the next 48 hours gives them the go-ahead to sign at least one more player before their FA Cup tie with Portsmouth on Saturday.

By Derek Davis

IPSWICH Town are hoping that a letter from the bank within the next 48 hours gives them the go-ahead to sign at least one more player before their FA Cup tie with Portsmouth on Saturday.

Southampton's Ricardo Fuller tops the list of players the Blues hope to sign, although there are a number of other targets on the Town radar.

Joe Royle stayed in the north after Monday's draw at Stoke, mixing business with family visiting, as he looks to secure two strikers and a defender, probably on loan, this month.


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A verbal agreement with the three main creditors to restructure the club's debt will allow Royle to dip deeper into the transfer market than he has previously been able to this season but he can't make a move until the transaction has been formalised.

Gavin Williams' £300,000 move from West Ham will take a chunk of the money after the deal was struck with the Hammers. Williams' is still talking over personal terms but has made it clear he wants to join on a permanent basis and his loan spell ends the weekend after next.

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Adam Proudlock's deal to stay until the end of the season, at the very least, has been formalised after officially being on loan from Sheffield Wednesday since his sacking from the Owls was held in abeyance due to an appeal.

Proudlock played the last 10 minutes of Town's hard-fought 2-2 draw at Stoke City and he will be looking to make his mark after recovering from two different injuries.

With Nicky Forster still a doubt for Saturday, along with Dean Bowditch, Proudlock is in the running for a start, although he is lacking full match fitness.

Town are hoping to secure a new striker before the midday Friday deadline for FA Cup registration but need to have the money in place.

Former Pompey striker Fuller, the Jamaican international who has been targeted by a number of Championship clubs since it became known he will be allowed to leave the Saints, would be a popular signing and a big striker in the Royle mould. Fuller was taken to Southampton from Pompey by Harry Redknapp, who has now returned to Fratton Park.

New Saints boss George Burley is keen to wheel and deal to bring in new players and trim his large squad and will not stop disaffected players going out on loan or being transferred.

Burley said: “If there is an offer for anyone then we would listen to it, just like we would with any other bid. We have a squad of 32 and that is too big for me. We need healthy competition but I like us to be lean and mean.

“We also have a number of players who maybe want to go. Players these days know who is after them but any transfer would have to be in the best interest of Southampton FC.”

A number of strikers are available from clubs for various reasons, and another Town target, Geoff Horsfield at West Brom, is being linked with a move away from the Hawthorns.

Brighton's Leon Knight has joined the list of possibilities, after he made it known he wanted to leave the Seagulls after falling out with manager Mark McGhee, but a fee would probably be demanded for him.

Norwegian Vemund Brekke-Skard's move from semi-professional football to Ipswich Town has been officially completed, although after just recovering from a hernia operation, it is unlikely the midfielder will play in the first-team for a couple of weeks.

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