Gillingham keen on several Ipswich players including skipper Chambers
- Credit: Archant
League One side Gillingham are understood to be interested in bringing a number of Ipswich Town players to Priestfield this summer, including former captain Luke Chambers.
We have previously reported the Kent side’s interest in Irish midfielder Alan Judge, who was told he was being released by Town last month, but it’s now understood Steve Evans is keen to recruit further players from Suffolk.
Chief among them, it’s understood, is Chambers, who is leaving Portman Road after nine seasons in Ipswich blue. Evans is thought to be a long-term admirer of the former Ipswich skipper, who moved into the club's top-10 all-time appearance-makers last season.
The 35-year-old has expressed his desire to continue playing elsewhere following his Ipswich departure, with the veteran likely to be keen to remain at League One level at least, meaning he could potentially line up against the Blues next season.
“Hopefully, there will be plenty more to come,” Chambers said, prior to his Ipswich exit. “I feel fit and I still feel I’m adding value to the team.
“That will be my aim for as long as I am wanted here or, if it’s not going to be here come the end of the season, I will still be looking to continue playing.”
Chambers and Judge are also understood to have interest from Colchester in League Two, with the U’s also known to be keen on Cole Skuse and Freddie Sears.
There's a strong chance Chambers will have plenty of options this summer, with clubs throughout the third tier understood to be in the market for experienced central defenders.
With goalkeeper Jack Bonham leaving Gillingham this summer, Town keeper Tomas Holy is a potential replacement, with the Czech spending two seasons at Priestfield prior to joining Town in 2019, while big striker Oli Hawkins could be seen as a replacement for Vadaine Oliver, should he move on before the start of next season.
Both of those players are under contract at Ipswich, though manager Paul Cook has told the vast majority of his squad they should look to move on this summer, as the new Town boss begins his Portman Road rebuild.
Ipswich are understood to be closing in on the signing of Luton Town captain Sonny Bradley, as boss Cook looks to rebuild his own defence following the departures of Chambers and player-of-the-year James Wilson.
It’s likely to be a busy summer for Evans at Gillingham, too, given four players – Bonham, Connor Ogilvie and former Ipswich pair Dominic Samuel and Jordan Graham – are leaving the club after turning down new contracts.
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The Gills are also likely to receive interest from the Championship for captain Kyle Dempsey and central defender Jack Tucker, while Oliver is another who could interest other sides following his 20-goal season.
John Akinde and Christian Maghoma have been transfer listed, while Sacha Bastien, Tyreke Johnson and Matty Willock were released.
Gillingham finished 10th in League One last season, a place and two points behind Town, having finished above Paul Lambert’s Blues on point-per-game at the end of the curtailed 2019/20 season.
Glaswegians Lambert and Evans enjoyed a pantomime relationship during the Scot's time at Ipswich, with the two clashing on the touchline and in the media during their battles in recent years.