PUBLISHED: 12:10 16 August 2001 | UPDATED: 10:26 03 March 2010

IPSWICH Town boss George Burley was today on tenterhooks as he worked to complete the signing of top Italian keeper Matteo Sereni from Sampdoria.


IPSWICH Town boss George Burley was today on tenterhooks as he worked to complete the signing of top Italian keeper Matteo Sereni from Sampdoria.

The Blues chief, upset not to land Derby's Estonian giant Mart Poom last weekend due to a bid being turned down, has had a £4 million plus offer accepted by the Serie B club and personal terms have been agreed verbally.

Burley is hoping the 26-year-old Sereni will arrive in Ipswich today or early tomorrow and make his debut in the Premiership opener at Sunderland on Saturday.

But other Italian clubs, including Juventus, have also been showing an interest.

The Evening Star exclusively revealed Burley's possible move for Sereni on Tuesday.

A top Italian source today revealed: "Ipswich are hoping that Sereni will leave Italy for Ipswich today. But you can understand why manager George Burley is so anxious and not keen to say too much.

"No deal is done until the signature is on a contract and the player has been registered. Knowing the way that agents can work, another clubs could suddenly come in with an offer.

"But as it stands at the moment I would say Ipswich are well on course to get their man. If they do they will get a top quality keeper. He is very lively in the goal, he kicks well, he is a good catcher of crosses and he is brave.

"He can develop into one of the best keepers in Britain."

Sereni could arrive to take the number one spot at a time when Andy Marshall, the man signed from Norwich on a Bosman free soon after Richard Wright's £5 million move to Arsenal, is nursing a back injury.

It could be that Marshall will be out for quite a while yet, possibly another month.

The other Town keepers are the vastly experienced pair of Keith Branagan and Mike Salmon.

Town are believed to have verbally agreed a four-year contract with a player at a Sampdoria club that are in financial trouble.

Meanwhile, Town players continue to prepare for Saturday's Premiership opener at Sunderland.

The club are still hopeful that the work permit of new Nigerian winger Finidi George will arrive in time.

Striker Alun Armstrong has been given an all-clear by a specialist to start training again. But it is still uncomfortable and he must be doubtful for the weekend.

Midfield man or defender Jamie Clapham is back in training after his hamstring injury. Skipper and midfield man Matt Holland is training again after an ankle knock.

Defender Mark Venus is under treatment for bruised ribs.

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