Town wrap up third transfer deal

IPSWICH Town today completed the third signing of the transfer window when they agreed a deal to sign Derby County keeper Stephen Bywater on loan until the end of the season.

Elvin King

IPSWICH Town today completed the third signing of the transfer window when they agreed a deal to sign Derby County keeper Stephen Bywater on loan until the end of the season.

And they are banking on the 26-year-old making it a hat-trick of Coca-Cola Championship promotions while at Portman Road.

Alan Quinn was signed from Sheffield United and Velice Sumulikoski from Turkish League Bursaspor.

In the final day before the window closes Blues boss Jim Magilton will also be completing the signing of Plymouth midfielder David Norris - and he is also planning to bring in one further player with Leicester defender Gareth McAuley a likely capture.

On the departure front, Canadian international Jaime Peters has joined Yeovil on loan to the end of the season, while highly rated midfielder Gavin Williams could also suffer from the influx of midfielders.

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Williams is being linked with Bristol City and Cardiff, and a move to live nearer his young son in Wales appeals to the 27-year-old.

Reports that striker Alan Lee has been the subject of a recent bid from Coventry appear wide of the mark although the nine-goal front man is known to be interesting a number of clubs.

The signing of Bywater has been made with a view to making the move permanent in the summer with Magilton saying: “Stephen is a young ambitious keeper who knows how to gain promotion from the Championship having helped first West Ham and latterly Derby County achieve this is.

“We are delighted to have him with us and he has been training with us today.”

Bywater was sent off along with Alex Bruce at Portman Road playing for Derby last season, and it is somewhat ironical that he has recently been number two at Pride Park to Lewis Price who Ipswich were happy to let go in the summer!

Former England Under-21 international Bywater started his career at Rochdale but was signed as a 17-year by Harry Redknapp and spent eight years at Upton Park.

He enjoyed loan spells at Wycombe Wanderers, Hull City, Wolves, Cardiff City and Coventry City before a £225,000 move to Derby.

Bywater replaces Neil Alexander who has completed a £500,000 move to become number two to Allan McGregor at Glasgow Rangers.

Scottish international Alexander wanted to move back nearer to his family with Ipswich thinking it unfair to stand in his way.

“As soon as I knew they were interested, I didn't have to think twice,” said Alexander.

“There was only going to be one answer for me. I'm very grateful to Ipswich for not standing in my way. Mr Magilton said it was a great chance that I might never get again and I agreed.”

Meanwhile, Norris has been in Ipswich for a couple of days as his deal reaches conclusion after a long drawn-out stage

After boardroom discussions after the Plymouth game on Tuesday a fee in the region of £2million has been agreed with Norris having a medical this morning.

Norris, whose family live in East Anglia, has been waiting for months for the deal to be finalised.

Ipswich are believed to have brokered a deal with Bolton Wanderers that will involve the Lancashire club getting less than the 50 per cent clause in the deal when they transferred Norris to Home Park.

Norris' transfer beats Argyle's previous record of £1.75m for the sale of striker Sylvan Ebanks-Blake when he moved to Wolves earlier this month.

The move had been hampered by the sell-on clause and fan power at Plymouth with Norris a big favourite with Pilgrims' supporters.

Talking of McAuley, Magilton said: “We would like someone like Gareth in. There will be movement on the last day, if not him then someone like him.”

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