'Paul Cook was sat in my office' - Ipswich boss addresses ex-Portsmouth manager links amid takeover

Ipswich boss Paul Lambert quipped he found Paul Cook sitting in his office as he accepted his days at Portman Road will be numbered when a takeover of the club goes through.

Sunday, 28th February 2021, 9:45 am
Updated Monday, 1st March 2021, 10:59 am
Paul Cook. Picture: Joe Pepler

The Tractor Boys are reportedly on the verge of being bought for £17.5m by an American consortium – led by Los Angeles-based businessman Brett Johnson – from current owner Marcus Evans.

According to The Athletic, one of their first acts in charge will be to part company with current manager Lambert and install Cook into the Portman Road hot seat.

Lambert's comeunder severe pressure from Ipswich fans this season. The Tractor Boys sit eighth in League One although they did beat promotion-chasing Doncaster 2-1 on Saturday.

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Cook, who guided Pompey to the League Two title in 2017 before making a shock departure to Wigan less than a month later, has been out of work since July.

He resigned from the Latics after they were relegated from the Championship when hit with a 12-point deduction for entering administration – having finished 13th in the standings.

Lambert admits he's aware of reports that a takeover at Ipswich – and Cook being linked with his job.

And if the club is purchased, the Scot conceded he'll almost certainly be departing.

‘I'm aware of it. When I came in this morning, Paul Cook was sat in my office up there!' joked Lambert after Ipswich's defeat of Doncaster.

‘I've got to be careful what I say because really I know as much as you guys. The best person to ask is the owner.

‘He's always said he'd do the best thing for the football club and try and move it forwards. He's always said he'd sell it to someone if they could invest. And it certainly needs investment and help from somewhere because it's an incredible club with an incredible fanbase.

‘Do I know much about it? Not really. I don't know much more than you guys to be honest, which might sound bizarre, but I don't really know where it is.

‘As I say, you'd better ask Marcus - if you can get him! I spoke to him Thursday and again last night. I've not had it too many times where I'm spending the night before a game other things, but there you are.

‘I don't know (if the takeover is happening), but the club certainly needs it, 100 per cent. It needs investment, badly. It needs help, badly. But I guess you have to ask Marcus what he's doing.

‘I've been in the game long enough to know what happens when a takeover happens – 99 per cent of the time the manager goes. If that happens then I have got no worries, no fear. I'd wish everybody the best. We have to wait and see.

‘(If it happens) 99 per cent I won't be here. When a new takeover comes it wouldn't matter if we were sitting top of the table – 99 per cent the manager is on his way. That's football.’