I'm so sad, says Gaardsoe

THOMAS Gaardsoe went into transfer talks with West Bromwich Albion today admitting: "I'm sad and confused."In an exclusive interview with The Evening Star, Ipswich's Danish central defender insisted: "At the moment I'm still a Town player.

By Dave Allard

THOMAS Gaardsoe went into transfer talks with West Bromwich Albion today admitting: "I'm sad and confused."

In an exclusive interview with The Evening Star, Ipswich's Danish central defender insisted: "At the moment I'm still a Town player. I know they need the money, but the deal has to be right for me to go."

An initial fee of around the £500,000 mark is believed to have been agreed with the Blues' Nationwide League First Division rivals Albion.

But a wider package has been worked out and this could grow considerably if Albion win promotion back into the Premiership at the first attempt.

It is clear that Baggies boss Gary Megson is desperately keen to land the 23-year-old Scandinavian, who blossomed so much after Joe Royle took over as Ipswich manager.

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Town have brought in three new faces during the close-season – Kelvin Davis, Georges Santos and Drissa Diallo – and the Portman Road finances are so tight that moves out have to continue.

Gaardsoe said: "I feel a bit sad and confused. I love the Ipswich club, the players and the fans, but the offer has been accepted and I will now talk with Albion."

He left his Ipswich home early this morning and drove to the Midlands. The Denmark Under-21 international picked up his agent Jarven Aabrink at Birmingham Airport before talks with Albion chairman Jeremy Peace and boss Megson.

Royle said: "Thomas is a lovely boy, but at this club we are in the slipstream of all the financial trouble we had.

"I told Thomas yesterday that it is in the best interests of him and his family to go and talk to Albion."

The prospect of Gaardsoe's departure has provoked dismay among many Town fans.

Carl Day, acting chairman of Ipswich Town First, says it is no surprise that supporters have reacted in this way.

He said: "Clearly fans were initially not expecting one of the club's top youngsters to be sold so close to the start of the season. Then to hear £500,000 quoted as the fee was an additional shock.

"There is evidently a difference in expectation between the club itself and supporters on the subject of transfer dealings, and fans are simply fed-up with hearing more and more bad news.

"Many were not expecting anyone else to depart after Matteo Sereni and Matt Holland, and now would seem the time for the club to more fully explain the current financial situation, the CVA requirements and whether we can expect any more players to leave before the end of August transfer deadline.

"Fans would also like an official disclosure of the fees for both Matteo Sereni and Thomas Gaardsoe rather than being reliant on media speculation.

"If the reported £500,000 figure is correct then it appears lower than a number of other transfers this summer involving Nationwide League clubs.

"While it is always going to be disappointing for supporters to see fees agreed for popular and promising players, the Trust feels fan reaction to the Gaardsoe deal – and particularly the fee – has gone beyond what is usual and the club very much needs to listen, take notice and above all outline more fully the current state of its finances."

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