Blues resurrect Charisteas move

IPSWICH Town have moved a step closer to securing Nuremburg striker Angelos Charisteas after being given permission to speak to the Greek international.

Derek Davis

IPSWICH Town have moved a step closer to securing Nuremburg striker Angelos Charisteas after being given permission to speak to the Greek international.

While reports on the continent suggest a move is dead, I understand it is still very much alive after the newly relegated German club gave the Blues the green light to make Charisteas an offer.

Although Nuremburg have not yet agreed a fee with Ipswich, the two clubs are close enough in their valuation of around £2.5million, to allow Town chief executive Derek Bowden to speak with the player and his representatives.

Ipswich made enquiries for the striker last month but made a positive move for the hit-man early last week and talks progressed over the weekend. After being relegated last season Nuremburg are keen to off load the player they bought from Feyenoord for £2m on a four-year deal on wages of around £20,000 a week.

The 28-year-old is away on holiday at the moment and the Blues plan to hold talks immediately he is available. They will be keen to clarify that he is still keen to play in England and that they can agree terms before making a definitive offer to the German club.

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Charisteas, who famously scored the winning goal for Greece against Portugal in the Euro 2004 final, is well known to Blues overseas scout Simon Hunt who first spotted his talent and recommended him to Ipswich when they were last in the Premiership.

Instead Charisteas moved from Greek side Aris to German club Bremen and then on to Ajax but was less suited to their 4-3-3- system and moved to Dutch rivals Feyenoord.

On top of the 68 international caps he has won for Greece, Charisteas has played Champions' League and UEFA Cup football and at 6'4'' is a powerhouse striker who would probably replace Alan Lee up front.

Town have also been linked with Crewe striker Nicky Maynard but the Alex are holding out for a bigger offer from either Ipswich or fellow suitors Bristol City, with coach Steve Holland indicating they would sell.

Ipswich are also linked with Wolfsburg keeper Simon Jentzsch it is believed initial negotiations have stalled and Town are unlikely to pursue the matter.

Although the 32-year-old, who has made more than 280 Bundesliga appearances, has been made available by the German club after being displaced by Swiss keeper Diego Benaglio, moves to at least two other clubs real Vienna and Turkish side Antalyaspor collapsed when the price suddenly went up for the player who still has three years to run on his current contract.

Richard Wright remains the number one choice, although another former blues keeper Kelvin Davis is also being liked after Southampton signed Tommy Forecast from Tottenham Hostpur.

Wright is understood to be holding talks with West Ham boss Alan Curbishley regarding his future this week but is known to be keen on returning to Portman Road.

Town have just one recognised senior keeper at the moment with Shane Supple likely to figure in an Ipswich Town XI in their first pre-season game on Wednesday at Bury Town.