Le Pen a Racing cert for Strasbourg

IPSWICH are ready to prune their annual wage bill by a further £500,000 by allowing French left-winger Ulrich Le Pen to return home.Le Pen, who cost £1.

By Mel Henderson

IPSWICH are ready to prune their annual wage bill by a further £500,000 by allowing French left-winger Ulrich Le Pen to return home.

Le Pen, who cost £1.1million from Lorient in November 2001, spent the entire 2002-2003 on loan at Racing Club de Strasbourg.

He has always made it clear he would prefer to stay put and now seems on the brink of signing a two-year deal.

Town, for whom he managed just three substitute appearances, are likely to bank only a modest fee for the 29-year-old.

Le Pen has been in talks with new Strasbourg manager Antoine Kombouaré and insisted he would like to remain at the Le Stade de la Meinau.

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"It's my big wish," he said. "I'm really happy in Alsace and I know that negotiations are progressing well between Ipswich and Racing."

Brittany side Guingamp also showed an interest in Le Pen, but Strasbourg were always favourites to land him.

Ipswich are also trying to secure a fee for Italian goalkeeper Matteo Sereni after

subsidising his year-long loan move to Serie A side Brescia.

Record signing Sereni has said he has no intention of returning to Portman Road and the matter is likely to be resolved before the Town players return for pre-season training on July 2.

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