Ipswich Town’s January transfer window looks set to explode into life in the next few days with Hearts midfielder Ryan Stevenson expected to sign on the dotted line in a £50,000 switch on Monday.
The Jambos’ goalscoring midfielder is out of contract in the summer and the SPL outfit have granted the 27-year-old’s request to leave the club after a controversial last few weeks. Pre-Christmas, Stevenson refused to train or play for Hearts in protest at the running of the Tynecastle club, citing Hearts’ uncertain financial situation as the cause of undue stress on his partner’s unborn child.
Stevenson, who was also linked with a move to Bristol City to link up with compatriot boss, Derek McInness, has a Scotland senior call-up under his belt back in November and a switch to the English Championship is likely to be viewed as a step up in class at this stage in his career.
Known for his goalscoring from midfield, Stevenson’s arrival at Portman Road suggests that a move for Blackburn’s Keith Andrews now looks out of the equation with top flight Wigan Athletic still thought to be keen on snaring the Republic of Ireland international.
The former Chelsea trainee certainly knows where the back of the net is, having scored 25 times in a three-year spell at Ayr United before becoming a fans favourite at Hearts as Jim Jeffries’ first signing back in 2010. Stevenson is expected at Portman Road today to finalise terms and visit the Playford Road training ground before becoming a Blue on Monday.
This bargain buy signifies a major shift in the type of signings Paul Jewell is looking to identify. Not a big time charlie or a Premier League has-been, Stevenson certainly has something to prove and will be keen to cement a place at international level having had a taste of the senior squad last year.
Talks regarding a move for Portsmouth trio Jason Pearce, Joel Ward and Stephen Henderson continue to rumble on, although Town are likely to have to up their bid to at least £3m in order to meet Pompey halfway at the negotiating table.