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Kings of Anglia Issue 10 Magazine Offer

Town summer sale starts here

PUBLISHED: 20:00 14 June 2003 | UPDATED: 14:00 03 March 2010

MATT Holland will be the first - but not the last - of Ipswich Town's summer sales.

While the Town skipper contemplates a move to Charlton Athletic, striker Marcus Bent remains a target for Leicester City.

MATT Holland will be the first – but not the last – of Ipswich Town's summer sales.

While the Town skipper contemplates a move to Charlton Athletic, striker Marcus Bent remains a target for Leicester City.

And Ipswich desperately need to bring in more cash to meet the terms of the company voluntary arrangement that paved the way for their recent exit from administration.

The Evening Star first reported Leicester's interest in the much-travelled Bent last month and the newly-promoted Foxes are expected to make a firm bid in the next few weeks.

Hard-up Ipswich, forced to accept a cut-price £750,000 bid for inspirational skipper Holland, remain vulnerable to bargain hunters.

Any reasonable offer for Bent, 25, will probably be accepted as he is one of the club's highest-paid players and Town are committed to further pruning of their wage bill.

Even if the player who cost

£3 million from Blackburn in November 2001 departs, Ipswich will still have last season's 37-goal pair, Pablo Counago and Darren Bent, and the emerging Dean Bowditch to contest places in attack.

Rising star Bent and defender Matt Richards gave the club a boost yesterday by both signing three-year deals.

The 19-year-old striker said: "I'm very happy at Ipswich and had no hesitation in agreeing to a new deal to stay here.

"Ipswich have been my club since I was ten and now I'm looking forward to playing my part in getting us back in the Premiership."

Meanwhile, 29-year-old Holland looks like being the second Ipswich player to join Charlton this year after appearing to be on the brink of moving to Portsmouth.

Just as they pipped Pompey for defender Hermann Hreidarsson in March, the South London outfit yesterday hijacked Holland's move to Fratton Park.

The Republic of Ireland international knew of Charlton's 11th hour intervention as he travelled to Guildford to discuss personal terms and with every intention of later undergoing a medical.

Surprisingly, in view of remarks made by Pompey boss Harry Redknapp that suggested yesterday's meeting would be a mere formality, the deal dramatically collapsed.

Portsmouth called a halt to negotiations and posted a message on their official website in which chief executive Peter Storrie said: "I have now spoken with Matt's advisors and from every way we look at it the terms are too expensive."

After a series of phone calls between the various parties, Ipswich cleared the way for Holland to enter into talks with Charlton, who matched the player's £750,000 price tag.

Holland now looks set to move to The Valley, which will mean he can retain his Essex base and not uproot his family.

He is due to depart today for a holiday in Mauritius with wife Paula and young sons, Jacob and Samuel.

A devoted family man, Holland is cutting short the holiday so that he can attend the boys' sports day, something he has been unable to do until now.

In 2001 he was on tour with the Republic of Ireland in the USA and last year he was on World Cup duty in the Far East.

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