Ipswich Town's exciting £64m transfer window ahead of Premier League return as bold prediction made

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How Ipswich Town’s preparations for their return to the Premier League could play out

The excitement and anticipation is already enveloping Ipswich Town as Kieran McKenna begins to plan for their big return to the Premier League.

Over two decades have passed since Portman Road last hosted top tier football - but the former Manchester United academy coach has overseen a remarkable turnaround in fortunes that has led the club to successive promotions and helped them realise their dreams of taking on English football’s elite once again.

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Of course, Ipswich have faced a battle to retain the services of their in-demand manager after he was linked with moves to Chelsea and former club Manchester United - but with McKenna now on board and committed to the cause for the new season, thoughts are turning towards what business he could conduct in the transfer market. We here at 3AddedMinutes could not wait to find out so we fired up Football Manager 2024 to see how the world’s most popular managerial simulation believes the next two months will play out for the Tractor Boys:

Goalkeepers

There was an immediate blow for the Tractor Boys as they were tempted into the sale of Vaclav Hladky by a £4.5m offer from Scottish giants Celtic - but McKenna wasted little time in finding a replacement as Chelsea stopper Jamie Cumming and Eibar’s Luca Zidane (that’s right, the son of Zizou himself) arrived for a combined £2.5m.

McKenna’s goalkeeping options: Jamie Cumming, Luca Zidane, Christian Walton

.Defenders

Firstly, let’s deal with the big sale and that was the departure of Leif Davis. The assist machine may well have spoken of his desire to play at hometown club Newcastle United - but it was a £19m offer from West Ham United that saw the Geordie depart Portman Road. He was joined heading out of the exit door by Axel Tuanzebe (£1.5m to Cadiz) and George Edmundson (500k to Hull City).

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Leeds have been linked with a move for Dummett on several occasions in the past and he could be one being considered as they bid to strengthen their defensive options. Leeds have been linked with a move for Dummett on several occasions in the past and he could be one being considered as they bid to strengthen their defensive options.
Leeds have been linked with a move for Dummett on several occasions in the past and he could be one being considered as they bid to strengthen their defensive options. | Getty Images

In their place came Newcastle stalwart Paul Dummett on a free transfer and £5m went to Brazilian club Internacional for Argentine right-back Fabricio Bustos. Luke Chambers and Reuell Walters also joined on loan from Liverpool and Arsenal respectively.

McKenna’s defensive options: Fabricio Bustos, Cameron Burgess, Harry Clarke, Luke Woolfenden, Luke Chambers, Paul Dummett, Reull Walters.

Midfielders

The major departure in midfield came with Cameron Humphreys making an £8m switch to Aston Villa - but there was plenty of action in the transfer market to make up for that exit. Premier League experience came in the form of Crystal Palace’s Will Hughes as he made a £3.5m move to Portman Road and the big spend came with Rafael Luis joining from Benfica in a £9m switch. Brighton’s Poland international Kacper Kozlowski joined for £6m and the princely sum of £1m was enough to sign Spanish midfielder Nacho Martin from Sporting Gijon.

McKenna’s midfield options: Sam Morsy, Will Hughes, Nacho Martin, Rafael Luis, Kacper Kozlowski, Conor Chaplin, Massimo Luongo.

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Forwards

UNCERTAINTY: Sheffield United have not yet got as far as offering Oli McBurnie a contractUNCERTAINTY: Sheffield United have not yet got as far as offering Oli McBurnie a contract
UNCERTAINTY: Sheffield United have not yet got as far as offering Oli McBurnie a contract

There were three new arrivals at the top end of the pitch for McKenna, as former Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi and Scotland international Oli McBurnie joined on free transfers following their departures from Turkish club Fenerbahce and Sheffield United. Another £1m fee was handed to Wolves to complete the signing of winger Chiquinho. That allowed the Tractor Boys to authorise the £2.5m sale of Al Al-Hamadi to Championship newcomers Derby County.

McKenna’s forward options: Wes Burns, Nathan Broadhead, Chiquinho, Michy Batshuayi, George Hirst, Oli McBurnie.

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