Town closing in on deals for attacking duo Pilkington and Quaner
PUBLISHED: 17:22 08 January 2019
Ipswich Town are closing in on the additions of attacking duo Collin Quaner and Anthony Pilkington from Premier League clubs Huddersfield Town and Cardiff City respectively.
Pilkington, 30, made just one league start for Cardiff when they were promoted to the Championship and hasn’t featured at all for Neil Warnock’s relegation-battling side this season.
The versatile nine-cap Republic of Ireland international – who can play wide or up top – did rack up more than 100 appearances in the second-tier for the Bluebirds prior to that though.
Blues boss Paul Lambert knows all about Pilkington’s qualities having signed him for Norwich City back in 2014. The Canaries paid £2m to secure him from Huddersfield Town and he was a regular as the Norfolk side twice secured mid-table Premier League finishes.
Pilkington is due to be out of contract at his Welsh employers this summer and it’s understood the Blues are keen on making this a permanent deal rather than filling up a valuable loan spot.
Championship clubs can name a maximum of five loan players in their matchday squads. Lambert already has Matthew Pennington (Everton) and Trevoh Chalobah (Chelsea) on temporary deals, recent January recruits Callum Elder (Leicester) and Will Keane (Hull) took that to four, while Quaner would become the fifth.
The 27-year-old German helped the Terriers to promotion in 2017, terrorising defences with his pace and power out wide following a mid-season switch from Union Berlin.
He’s found the transition to the Premier League tough and, after making 13 starts in the top-flight last season, has been limited to just two substitute appearances for the rock-bottom club this campaign.
The 6ft 3in winger has scored two goals in 30 starts and 25 sub appearances for David Wagner’s side.
Lambert said recently that he wants to strengthen ‘all areas’ of his ‘imbalanced’ squad and called upon owner Marcus Evans for ‘financial backing’ following Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at League One side Accrington Stanley in the FA Cup third round.
An experienced central midfielder is still very much on the shopping list.
The Blues head into Saturday’s home game with fourth-bottom Rotherham 10 points adrift of safety at the foot of the table.