Ex-Town stars on the move

EX-Ipswich players Darren Ambrose and Pablo Counago are on the move to new clubs.While Town continue their quest for defensive reinforcements before next month's big kick-off, the duo are poised to join Charlton and Malaga respectively.

EX-Ipswich players Darren Ambrose and Pablo Counago are on the move to new clubs.

While Town continue their quest for defensive reinforcements before next month's big kick-off, the duo are poised to join Charlton and Malaga respectively.

Newcastle have agreed an undisclosed fee with Premiership rivals Charlton for 21-year-old midfielder Ambrose, who is keen to return south.

And Counago, who will be 26 in August, is poised to sign for Malaga in his native Spain after departing Ipswich at the end of last season.


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The Primera Liga club made their move after ex-Town boss George Burley dismissed reports linking him with a move for the player he brought to Portman Road from Celta Vigo four years ago.

Burley recently took charge of Scottish club Hearts after his decision to quit Derby and is known to be looking for new players.

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But he told me: “I am not planning any move for Pablo. I signed him and I know what he can do - he's a player I rate - but I won't be bringing him here.

“It is no secret that I am on the lookout for new players and I have several targets in mind, but Pablo isn't one of them.”

Instead the former Spanish Under-21 international is set to revive his career on the Costa del Sol.

Malaga finished tenth last season - one point and place above Atletico Madrid, who are Town's opponents in a pre-season friendly at Portman Road in three weeks' time.

Ambrose, meanwhile, has been given permission to speak to Charlton, where he will find several familiar faces if he signs on at The Valley.

The Londoners, who already have ex-Town stars Matt Holland, Hermann Hreidarsson and Darren Bent in their squad, have been on his trail all summer.

Ambrose and Bent came through the youth ranks at Portman Road together, sharing digs and also becoming team-mates at England Under-21 level.

Harlow-born Ambrose moved to Tyneside in March 23, while Ipswich were in administration, for a bargain £1 million fee.

He has made 56 senior appearances for the Geordies - 29 of them as a substitute - and scored six goals.

Newcastle chairman Freddy Shepherd said: “Charlton have made an offer that matches our valuation of the player. We have given Darren permission to speak to Charlton to discuss a possible move.”

Ambrose enjoyed a regular first team run towards the end of last season, but is on his way out as manager Graeme Souness continues his rebuilding operation at St James' Park.

The other two ex-Ipswich stars there, defender Titus Bramble and midfielder Kieron Dyer, are staying put.

Dyer is ready to commit himself to a new long-term contract worth in excess of £50,000 per week.

But the days of king's ransom salaries at Portman Road are long gone, with boss Joe Royle busily scanning the free transfer and loan markets for possible additions to his depleted squad.

Royle has already admitted that his plans to sign David Unsworth, who played 16 games on loan at Ipswich last season, look doomed to failure.

As long as Portsmouth, where Unsworth's contract still has a year to run, stand firm and refuse to agree a pay-off, or subsidise a loan move, the deal will not be going ahead.

I understand Ipswich have two other players in mind - one would be a permanent signing and the other temporary - but nothing is likely to happen until at least next week.

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