Writer: Darren C
Date:Wednesday June 29 2011
Ipswich Town have finally relinquished their hold on striker Connor Wickham after the 18-year-old signed a four year contract with Sunderland in a deal believed to be worth up to £12 million.
Sunderland's interest in Wickham first came to prominence three weeks ago before reports last week revealed that the Wearsiders had made the first firm bid for the 18-year-old, who netted 14 goals in 73 appearances over two years at Portman Road. News then emerged yesterday that the two clubs had agreed a fee now understood to be £8.1 million plus £4 million in top-ups - shattering Town's previous record sale figure of £6 million - with the player travelling to the Stadium of Light for a medical on Wednesday.
Wickham's move has now been officially confirmed by Sunderland, whose swift action has enabled them to beat the likes of Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham to the teenager's signature. Town Chief Executive Simon Clegg revealed that it had been a tough decision but wished Connor the best for his career.
Clegg told the Ipswich Official Website: 'As much as we would have liked to have kept Connor at Portman Road we have to be realistic and recognise that the offer from Sunderland was simply too good to turn down.'
'I know that every Town fan will join me in wishing Connor well for the future. We are proud that he has developed through our Academy and what he has achieved in his time here and we will follow his ongoing progress with interest. We will now look carefully as to how best to utilise these funds to support Paul [Jewell] in strengthening the squad.'
The story therefore brings to a close the long running soap opera surrounding young prospect Wickham, who had been the subject of constant speculation ever since he first burst onto the scene as Town's youngest ever player - aged 16 years and 11 days - in a home match against Doncaster Rovers in April 2009.
While the England U21 international will now be looking to begin the glittering career at the top level that he has long been tipped to enjoy, Ipswich boss Paul Jewell will now be considering how to invest the windfall on further improving his team. The Town manager has already made three signings so far, and with Wickham's departure making it 13 players who have left the club this summer, it looks likely that many more additions will follow before the new season begins.
Farewell, Connor, and best wishes for the future.
How do you feel about the sale of Connor Wickham? Do you think this is a good move for the club, and the player? What do you think the future holds for Wickham, and how do you think Town should invest the money they have received for this deal?
Share your opinions on any Town topic of your choice by writing an article for Vital Ipswich, or you can add your voice to the debate on our club forums by registering an account.
And keep informed about all the latest Ipswich Town news and transfer rumours by following Vital Ipswich on Facebook and Twitter:
Date:Wednesday June 29 2011
Ipswich On The Up (Tuesday May 21 2013)
Canaries Keeper Camp Linked Again (Saturday May 18 2013)
Ipswich Town Arrange Shelbourne Friendly (Friday May 17 2013)
Judge's Verdict Goes Against Ipswich (Thursday May 16 2013)
Ipswich Chief Evans Thwarted by Premier League (Thursday May 16 2013)
Blues Ditch Friendly And Blow Signing Chance (Wednesday May 15 2013)
Blues Target Blackpool Defender (Wednesday May 15 2013)
Skuse's Ipswich Move Confirmed (Tuesday May 14 2013)
Fancy Being An Ipswich Town football Writer? (Monday May 13 2013)
McCarthy Targets Wolves Trio (Saturday May 11 2013)
|13. Leeds Utd||46||17||10||19||-9||61|
|Free Transfer for McCann and Others Leave!
» Burnley : 21/05/2013 20:26:00
|LUFC McDermott surprised by McCormack omission
» Leeds Utd : 21/05/2013 20:00:00
|McCormack disappointed to be left out by Scotland
» Leeds Utd : 21/05/2013 19:00:00
|Midfielder Wanted By Championship Rivals
» Charlton : 21/05/2013 17:40:00
|Brentford Friendly Added
» Millwall : 21/05/2013 17:36:00
|Wilbraham - We'll Do It As A Team
» Crystal Palace : 21/05/2013 17:26:00
|Palace Will Relish Wembley Trip
» Crystal Palace : 21/05/2013 17:19:00