Two clubs in next season’s League One have yet to sign anyone, Ipswich Town, and currently-in-administration Wigan Athletic, but is that about to become just one club?
The salary cap has been the hot topic in Suffolk, with club owner Marcus Evans stating that, despite the new cap being unenforceable, Ipswich would do what they can to adhere to the guidelines, the Suffolk club having always been an advocate of Financial Fair Play.
With the favoured rumours around Portman Road all looking likely to be out of reach, rumours of a possible triple announcement over the weekend has brought mixed social media reactions.
Stephen Ward, 34, free-transfer
The Irish international has been training with Ipswich all week, and with the left-back role, one that Paul Lambert has cited as a priority, coupled with last season’s stand-out loanee Luke Garbutt looking more likely to be heading elsewhere, an experienced former international would usually break the newly strict wage cap, but Ward, 34, is keen to get that short-term pay-packet.
Oli Hawkins, 28, free-transfer
Hawkins, a striker-cum-centre-back is also rumoured to be in Suffolk to discuss terms, the 6ft 5in target man seems the more likely option over Brett Pitman, also recently released from Portsmouth. Although his tally of 18 goals in 96 appearances does not sound exciting, Hawkins is quick to highlight on his own social media, that he has played a lot as a defender too.
David Cornell, 29, free-transfer
A ‘keeper has been a priority for Paul Lambert since loanee Will Norris left the club after a mediocre spell. Although towering stopper Tomas Holy is a safe pair of hands, his current competition coming from Harry ‘son-of-Richard’ Wright, and Adam ‘son-of-his-father”’ Pryzbek. Cornell left Northampton despite promotion, and although signing for Ipswich would mean playing in the same league as the Cobblers, many would see it as a forward step.
If any combination of these three does sign over the weekend, it won’t please all the Tractor Boys, with many still very much in the disgruntled camp, last season being a huge disappointment and the curtailment not reason enough for a second season in tier three.