Ipswich look set to miss out on Garbutt as Sunderland offer deal and other clubs remain interested
PUBLISHED: 16:24 07 August 2020 | UPDATED: 16:47 07 August 2020
Ipswich Town look set to miss out on a reunion with Luke Garbutt, with the former Everton man likely to move to Sunderland.
The 27-year-old impressed during his season-long loan in 2019/20, particularly with his set-piece ability, which yielded six goals in 30 appearances during his temporary move from Goodison Park.
He’s now a free agent following the expiration of his Everton contract and, while regularly insisting he would be interested in a permanent move to Ipswich, admitted he would like to play at as high a level as possible and would be open to all offers.
Garbutt and Ipswich have discussed the possibility of a full-time move regularly since before the turn of the year, with those discussions continuing throughout the summer, but it’s understood the financial terms being discussed changed once Sunderland made their interest formal.
The Black Cats have offered Garbutt a deal and, while the move is not yet complete and other clubs remain interested, he’s understood to be interested in signing with Town’s League One rivals.
While finance is likely to have played a part, should Garbutt move to the Stadium of Light or elsewhere, it’s understood geography is also a major factor.
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The left-sided player has lived in Liverpool for over a decade during his time at Everton and grew up close to Leeds, where he began his football journey, meaning staying in the North of England is likely to be appealing.
Ipswich remain keen on bringing Garbutt back to Suffolk full-time and the move is not yet dead but, should they miss out, are ready to turn their attention to other left-back targets.
Speaking in June, Garbutt said: “I will never close the door on the possibility of coming back to Ipswich on a permanent basis and it’s something I will definitely consider.
“But as a football player you want to try and play at the highest level you can do. I can’t really comment because I don’t know if there’s an offer on the table from Ipswich or any club for that matter. I can’t say anything.
“I’m a free agent so I’ll let my agent do the negotiations and the business side of it before I make a decision with my family about where I move next and the best football club for me.”
The introduction of a salary cap at League One level, which now limits clubs to spending £2.5m a season on player wages, is not likely to impact Sunderland’s intent to move for Garbutt.
Players signed prior to the cap’s introduction earlier today will see their actual wage reduced when counted against the cap, to the League One average £1,300 a week, while those signed after would see their salaries counted in full.
However, it’s thought to the relif offered on pre-existing deals offers Sunderland breathing space against the cap and gives them space to sign senior players.