Breaking: Ipswich look to hijack Portsmouth's move for Luton and Wales midfielder Joe Morrell

Ipswich are looking to hijack Pompey’s pursuit of Joe Morrell.

Monday, 9th August 2021, 1:08 pm
Joe Morrell in Euros 2020 action for Wales against Italy. Picture: Claudio Villa/Getty Images)

The News understands that the big-spending Tractor Boys are readying a move for the Luton midfielder.

And they could be joined by others looking to take advantage of the Wales international regular’s availability.

The Blues were closing in on an eye-catching deal for the 24-year-old, with Morrell seen as one of Danny Cowley’s prime transfer targets this summer.

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They were hopeful of making an announcement today, along with confirmation that Louis Thompson is joining on a pay-as-you-play basis.

The Thompson deal is still set to go ahead as planned.

But there’s now doubts whether he’ll be joined by Morrell following the emergence of Ipswich’s interest.

A move to Fratton Park would instigate an automatic pay cut, with the Blues unable to match the wages the European Championship star is currently on at the Hatters.

However, such a sacrifice would not be needed at Portman Road, with Cook – backed by his club’s new American owners – ready to blow Pompey out of the water again in terms of wages.

A similar scenario developed when the Blues looked to seal a loan move for then Rangers centre-back George Edmundson, only for Ipswich to offer the former Oldham defender a lucrative permanent move.

Another factor which could prove costly for Cowley, who worked previously with Morrell at Lincoln, is that he originates from Ipswich and would welcome a return to the area.

Although, the Pompey boss was hoping his former working relationship with the player would play a key role in a move to the south coast.

At present, the Blues only have two recognised midfielders in Ryan Tunnicliffe and Shaun Williams.

Yet they were forced to go into Saturday’s game against Fleetwood with Connor Ogilvie featuring in the engine room after Williams suffered a reaction to a back problem in the pre-match warm-up.