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Kings of Anglia Issue 10 Magazine Offer

Town ready to axe Le Pen

PUBLISHED: 20:00 12 May 2003 | UPDATED: 13:51 03 March 2010

IPSWICH are ready to unload French misfit Ulrich Le Pen.

They may even be willing to release the 29-year-old winger, who cost more than £1million from Lorient in November 2001.

IPSWICH are ready to unload French misfit Ulrich Le Pen.

They may even be willing to release the 29-year-old winger, who cost more than £1million from Lorient in November 2001.

Le Pen is a wanted man in France, where he is at the centre of a tug of war involving Racing Club de Strasbourg and Guingamp.

But cash is in short supply, with neither club able to afford to pay a transfer fee for the diminutive star.

Both clubs have also warned Le Pen that he will have to take a substantial cut in wages to join them.

Ipswich allowed Le Pen to spend the entire 2002-2003 season with Strasbourg, but had to subsidise the move by paying a share of the player's wages.

He has made 26 appearances this season, scoring three goals, and his displays have also alerted Guingamp.

The Brittany-based club are currently seventh in the league, 12 points better off than 13th-placed Strasbourg.

They won 4-0 away to Nantes, the 2001 champions, at the weekend and have stormed back after only narrowly avoiding the drop a year ago.

Guingamp coach Bertrand Marchand has already spoken with Le Pen and offered him a deal.

Le Pen revealed: "He proposed a contract. On one side, I know Racing want to keep me, but nobody is sure about the future situation of the club. I want to make a decision very soon."

Ipswich will hope to pocket a fee for Le Pen, who made just three substitute appearances during his time at Portman Road.

But, since he is under contract to them, they are also obliged to pay his wages throughout the summer.

A likely compromise is that Town cut their losses by offering Le Pen a free transfer, which would remove him from the wage bill and enable him to agree a deal himself.

Le Pen's move to England got off to the worst possible start when he was injured within minutes of coming off the bench to make his debut in the home clash with Bolton.

He says he has open mind about where he continues his career, but is adamant he will not be returning to Ipswich.

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