Blues snatch Santos for Scandinavia tour

BIG Frenchman George Santos flew out on tour with Ipswich Town today and his agent Mick Mills said: "He can cover for the loss of Matt Holland."Ex-Ipswich and England captain Mills was in talks with Town chief Joe Royle until late last night setting up a three-month long temporary deal for the 32-year-old central defender or midfield man.

By Dave Allard

BIG Frenchman George Santos flew out on tour with Ipswich Town today and his agent Mick Mills said: "He can cover for the loss of Matt Holland."

Ex-Ipswich and England captain Mills was in talks with Town chief Joe Royle until late last night setting up a three-month long temporary deal for the 32-year-old central defender or midfield man.

Santos went off on the trip to Sweden and Denmark and is expected to sign the contract when in Scandinavia.

He said: "It's good to be with Ipswich and I'm looking to prove myself quickly."

There were problems with tickets at the airport.

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Eight of the party had to leave on a later flight including new man Santos.

The loss of Danish central defender Thomas Gaardsoe forced the hand of Royle regarding Santos.

Mills said: "The temporary contract may be on-going. It's a question of how big an impression George can make."

Santos has reject a new deal at Grimsby and is now a free agent. He played against Ipswich twice last year for the Mariners.

Mills watched both those games and said: "He did well in central midfield when Town lost at Grimsby and did a cracking job in the return when Grimsby drew at Portman Road, marking Marcus Bent very effectively.

"George is a very strong ball-winning player."

The 6ft 3in Frenchman was born in Marseilles and before joining Grimsby was at Tranmere, West Bromwich Albion and Sheffield United.

He is a tough competitor who has been sent off three times in his career in England.

Midfielder Jermaine Wright was another who missed the trip due to injury.

Gaardsoe, a former Danish Under-21 international, said of his absence: "It's very disappointing. But the main thing is that I'm fit for the start of the season."

Gaardsoe sustained an ankle injury in Monday night's 4-2 friendly win at Southend.

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