Bowden: More players to come in this month

IPSWICH Town chief executive Derek Bowden today confirmed that the Blues are going to strengthen their squad this month.

Elvin King

IPSWICH Town chief executive Derek Bowden today confirmed that the Blues are going to strengthen their squad this month.

The emergency loan transfer system opens next Monday, and Bowden is confident Ipswich will bring in one and possibly two new faces to boost manager Jim Magilton's quest to lift his team up the Coca-Cola Championship table.

Town have an agreement in place to bring 25-year-old striker Jon Stead to Portman Road on loan until January from Sheffield United, although the deal will not be completed until next Monday.

Stead passed a medical yesterday, but with the secretaries of both Ipswich and United currently away from work the paperwork will not be completed this week.

The move was agreed on the last day of the transfer window on Monday when Bowden confirmed that the Blues came close to adding another name to their squad.

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A left-sided midfielder and a central defender are the positions Magilton is trying to strengthen with 21-year-old Middlesbrough midfielder Adam Johnson a possible loan target. He was loaned to Watford for two months last season and has been unable to break into the Boro side. A host of other clubs are also believed to be interested in Johnson.

“We were hoping to make two signings before Monday's deadline,” said Bowden. “The deal for one of them broke down late into the night.

“I am confident we will have one or two new loan players at Portman Road in the next week or two.”

It can be revealed that the fee Town have agreed with Sheffield United if the deal for Stead is to be made permanent in January is roughly the same that the Blues will receive from Crystal Palace following the sale of Alan Lee last week.

Although the signing of Stead - considered fifth choice striker at Bramall Lane - has been met with disappointment by many Town supporters, the club will point out that they have effectively switched a 30-year-old who has never played in the Premier League for someone five years younger who has - and scored goal at that level.

“If Jon is given the ammunition he will score goals for us,” said Magilton. “Jon coming in will add to the competition for places in attack.

“We need that all over the park if we are to progress.”

Town players trained today - their traditional day off - but will be handed a long weekend off because of the world cup qualifiers.

Some will return on Sunday, with the build-up for the home game against Reading on Saturday September 13 beginning in earnest the next day.

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