Town to pursue other targets with Crooks set for Boro

Rotherham United's Matt Crooks during the Sky Bet Championship match at the AESSEAL Stadium, Rotherh

Rotherham midfielder Matt Crooks is set to sign for Middlesbrough. Photo: PA - Credit: PA

Ipswich Town will move on to other midfield transfer targets now that Matt Crooks is set to sign for Championship club Middlesbrough.

The Blues have had multiple six-figure bids rejected for the Rotherham star in recent weeks, with Millers boss Paul Warne making it clear he was reluctant to sell to a League One rival.

Now Boro have swooped, reportedly agreeing a deal worth a potential £1.25m for a player now in the final year of his contract.

Speaking after his side's 2-1 friendly win over Saltash United last night, Boro boss Neil Warnock said: "We’re quite close at the minute to getting a couple over the line this week.

"Crooks is one we’ve been talking about, but there’s a couple more we’ve been talking about too."

Town signed proven League One attacking midfielder Scott Fraser for an undisclosed fee from MK Dons last week.

Their current central midfield options are summer signings Lee Evans, Rekeem Harper and Fraser, plus Jon Nolan, Armando Dobra and Idris El Mizouni.

Flynn Downes, Teddy Bishop and Brett McGavin have all started pre-season training with the Under-23s

Speaking before the recent additions of Fraser and Joe Pigott, Town chief executive Mark Ashton said: “Every deal is just so, so unique. I describe the transfer window as a spider’s web that moves by the hour. 

“Something happens at ‘Club A’ and there’s a ripple that affects clubs B, C, D, E and F. Suddenly a transfer elsewhere becomes possible that wasn’t previously possible. 

“You could be right down the line on a transfer, 90% of it is done, then the club that he’s at gets an injury and *snaps fingers* he can’t come to you anymore. 

“Or, a club suddenly has the ability to acquire a player that they initially didn’t think they could get and then that makes one of their players available to you that you didn’t previously think was available. 

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“Or, a player moves agents mid-window... There are so many things that can happen. 

“We just have to be really consistent with our behaviours and consistent with our messaging of what we’re looking for. 

“As I’ve said, we’re looking to bring at least five more in during this window. But that doesn’t mean I’m only targeting five players.  

“We’re active with probably four players in each of those positions. That takes a lot of time. That’s a lot of phone calls and a lot of knowledge and information that’s passing. 

“I think if we can get five in, of the right quality that we want, we should be very competitive next season.” 


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