Birmingham to return with improved offer for Bialkowski amid tentative West Ham interest
PUBLISHED: 13:08 12 July 2018 | UPDATED: 14:36 12 July 2018
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Birmingham City are set to make an improved offer for star Ipswich Town stopper Bartosz Bialkowski.
Town turned down an initial £2.75m bid from Birmingham earlier this week, but the St Andrew’s outfit are set to return with an increased offer, believed to be around £3million, as they seek to tempt the Polish international away from Portman Road. A new bid is likely to be made later today.
Bialkowski, who is due to report back to Ipswich next week having been on holiday since Poland’s exit from the World Cup, is entering the final 12 months of his contract and has been the subject of transfer interest during the close season.
The Poland international remains open to extending his stay at Ipswich due to his connection with the club and its supporters but it is understood he would be interested to hear what Birmingham have to say should the clubs ultimately agree a fee.
The 31-year-old goalkeeper has won the club’s player-of the-year award in each of the last three seasons, with the Blues understood to be keen to do all they can to secure his future long-term. Talks are likely once he returns to the club next week.
Birmingham are keen to push through a deal despite the threat of a reported transfer embargo, relating to their transfer activity last summer.
Neither the club or the EFL have confirmed the reports, with the St Andrew’s outfit understood to be extremely confident they will quickly sort the issue.
Birmingham are the only club currently showing a strong desire to sign Bialkowski, though we understand Premier League West Ham have shown tentative interest.
Manuel Pellegreni’s side have already bought Bialkowski’s Poland team-mate Lukasz Fabianski from Swansea this summer and could potentially move for the Ipswich goalkeeper should Spaniard Adrián move on during the close season.
Former Ipswich manager Mick McCarthy announced in January that Bialkowski had agreed a new deal with the club, until the summer of 2020 with the option for a further year, but that deal was never signed.
Though Ipswich are determined to keep hold of their star man, preliminary work has already begun in regards to a replacement with Rangers goalkeeper Wes Foderingham sounded out. Ben Amos of Bolton, who was on loan at Charlton last season, is another goalkeeper linked with the Blues.
Sheffield United goalkeeper George Long is another player reported to be interesting Blues manager Paul Hurst.