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Joe jets in to clinch signings

PUBLISHED: 21:00 22 June 2005 | UPDATED: 05:57 02 March 2010

IPSWICH are poised to unveil Nicky Forster as their first summer signing.

And they could quickly follow it up with the £500,000 capture of Swindon striker Sam Parkin.

IPSWICH are poised to unveil Nicky Forster as their first summer signing.

And they could quickly follow it up with the £500,000 capture of Swindon striker Sam Parkin.

Manager Joe Royle is interrupting his holiday in Majorca to meet 24-year-old Parkin in London today and try to

persuade him that his future should be at Portman Road.

Royle will travel on to Ipswich for a tea-time press conference before

resuming his holiday and returning to his desk next Monday morning.

The club today refused to confirm or deny that the media event was being staged to announce the signing of 31-year-old Forster.

But I understand Town have successfully concluded negotiations with the ex-Birmingham and Reading player, and that he will sign a two-year

contract.

Royle wants Forster and, hopefully, Parkin to form a new-look strike force for the forthcoming season.

He has wasted little time in targeting the men to fill the void left by the

£2.5million sale of Darren Bent to Charlton and top scorer Shefki Kuqi's decision to reject a new deal.

Kuqi, still locked in talks with Premiership outfit Blackburn, netted 20 goals last season and England Under-21 ace Bent bagged just one less.

With free agent Tommy Miller on the verge of joining £1.25m goalkeeper Kelvin Davis at Sunderland, the Town squad had a depleted look to it.

But in Forster they are securing the services of a proven marksman who spent six years with Reading.

He was offered a 12-month extension at the Madejski Stadium, but turned it down. That was Royle's cue to move in ahead of

several other interested Championship clubs.

Forster began his league career with Gillingham in 1992. He moved to Brentford two years later and then cost Birmingham £700,000 in January 1997.

Reading paid £650,000 for him exactly six years ago. He netted 67 goals in 214 appearances for the Royals, 35 of them as a substitute.

Royle is looking to Forster to plug a gap for the next two seasons while highly rated young strikers Darryl Knights and Billy Clarke mature.

He is also hoping to clinch a deal with Parkin, who is keen to move to a higher level and progress his career.

The former Chelsea youngster has been with Swindon for three years, enhancing his reputation in that time.

He had loan spells with Millwall, Wycombe, Oldham and Northampton during his time at Stamford Bridge.

But his career really took off in Wiltshire and last season his haul of 24 goals put him among the leading scorers in League One.

Swindon have little alternative but to cash in now as Parkin's

contract expires next summer, when he could depart for nothing.

They have also given Watford permission to speak to the player after the Hornets matched Town's £500,000 bid.


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