Bialkowski returns for pre-season with Town as move to Millwall remains under negotiation

PUBLISHED: 12:18 24 June 2019 | UPDATED: 12:34 24 June 2019

Bartosz Bialkowski spent five seasons at Ipswich Town. Photo: Steve Waller

Bartosz Bialkowski spent five seasons at Ipswich Town. Photo: Steve Waller

© Copyright Stephen Waller

Bartosz Bialkowski was pictured among the Ipswich Town players who reported back for the first session of pre-season training today as his move to Millwall remains under negotiation.

The 31-year-old completed a medical with the South London club last week after the Blues, who started the summer with a £1.5m valuation of their keeper, agreed a transfer fee.

Some finer points of the deal remain under discussion though.

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Bialkowski arrived at Portman Road on a Bosman free transfer from League One club Notts County in 2014.

Bartosz Bialkowski was named Ipswich Town's Supporters' Player of the Year three times in a row. Photo: Steve WallerBartosz Bialkowski was named Ipswich Town's Supporters' Player of the Year three times in a row. Photo: Steve Waller

He was a regular as Mick McCarthy's men made the Championship play-offs, then took his game to a new level as he was named Supporters' Player of the Year three times in a row.

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That led to Bialkowski being included in Poland's World Cup squad and signing a bumper new deal in a hectic summer which also saw long-serving Blues goalkeeper coach Malcolm Webster retire.

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His form subsequently dipped badly in 2018/19 and he was dropped twice as the Blues were relegated to League One.

Even with a significant pay reduction clause in his contract, Bialkowski would still be a significant earner in the third-tier.

He has always said that he and his young family love life in Suffolk, but that he wants to play at the highest level possible at this stage of his career.

If the deal goes through, he would join a Millwall side that finished 21st in the Championship last season, just four points above the drop zone, under Neil Harris' management.

New signing James Norwood was not among those to report back to Playford Road this morning, the striker having been given extra time off following his involvement in Tranmere's successful League Two play-off campaign.

Blues boss Paul Lambert is due to speak to the media tomorrow.

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