The transfer window opens today - here’s where Ipswich Town are at with their summer business
PUBLISHED: 06:37 27 July 2020 | UPDATED: 06:42 27 July 2020
Ipswich Town can step up their summer business from today as the transfer window opens.
With the League One season now confirmed to start on September 12, the Blues will be looking to add to their squad as they bid to challenge for promotion following a hugely disappointing 11th-placed finish in the curtailed 2019/20 campaign.
A striker is understood to be top of Town’s transfer agenda, given James Norwood and Kayden Jackson are now the only senior out-and-out forwards following the departure of Will Keane.
Town are understood to have shown interest in Bristol Rovers forward Jonson Clarke-Harris, who would cost a significant six-figure fee, while they have also been linked with Charlie Wyke of Sunderland. He is not thought to be a player of interest, though.
Strengthening in the final third remains the priority but additions in other areas of the pitch are possible.
An experienced central defender is also on the agenda, as is a senior goalkeeper to compete for a starting spot with Czech stopper Tomas Holy.
Former Northampton keeper David Cornell, an in-demand free agent after his exit from Sixfields, is a top target there, while former Bolton man Remi Matthews is training with the club during the early days of pre-season.
The only addition so far is former Bury Town teenager Ross Crane, though the youngster is not training with the first time and is likely to begin his time with the Blues in their Under 23 side.
With Keane, Danny Rowe and Jordan Roberts already departed at the end of their deals and Luke Garbutt, Will Norris and Josh Earl’s loan deals ending, manager Paul Lambert has already begun to shrink a bloated squad which saw 30 players play League One football during the last campaign.
Further exits are possible, with much of the discussion likely to centre around the futures of prized pair Luke Woolfenden and Flynn Downes. Both have had admiring glances from the top flight over the last year, having become vital members of Lambert’s side, with that interest remaining this summer.
Woolfenden has extended his deal to 2024 which, while bringing added security doesn’t entirely rule out the possibility of him leaving, while Downes remains in the sights of Premier League clubs including West Ham and Arsenal.
Crystal Palace have perhaps shown the strongest interest but are a significant distance away from Town’s valuation, with the Eagles seeing him as a £2million player and Town understood to want at least three-times that figure for the academy product.
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Gwion Edwards is the only other Ipswich player to have been linked with other clubs this summer, with Oxford and Sunderland said to be targeting the Welshman.
Speaking earlier this month, Town general manager Lee O’Neill insisted the Blues do need to strengthen their squad for the coming season, but sounded words of caution when discussing the club’s spending power in relation to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“We do need to make some additions to the squad and hope to be able to do that over the next few weeks and months,” he said.
“It won’t be easy, because of the financial hit we have taken, but there might also be some opportunities for us too. There are going to be a lot of free agents available.
“So yes, we are going to try and sign players. We need to strengthen the squad. We want to be back in the Championship and pushing forwards.
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“We’ve done our scouting, we know the areas of the squad we are focusing on and we have some targets.”
Manager Lambert has been vocal in the need for football to ‘reset’ financially in the wake of the pandemic, with the financial hit taken by the majority of clubs likely to lead to reduced spending in the transfer market.
While the Town boss would of course like to add to his squad, Lambert has previously insisted he would be comfortable entering the new season with the group of players currently available to him.
“The pandemic has hit a lot of clubs, not just ours, and we’re lucky we have an owner who is keeping the club going through this all,” he said.
“We’ll speak next week and it will maybe be a little clearer. “This is unprecedented and nobody knows. Marcus will tell us next week what’s likely to happen.
“The squad is big enough and strong enough to go again. I don’t know if we can bring anyone in or any financial side of it until next week when we meet.
“The squad is strong, it’s a strong squad.”
The transfer window will close at 5pm on October 5. In addition, there will be a two-week ‘domestic only’ transfer window in which Premier League and EFL clubs will be able to trade with one another.
However, no deals will be permitted between Premier League clubs during this period, which ends on October 16.