Ipswich Town star Flynn Downes has reportedly handed in a transfer request just days before their first competitive fixture of the season, as reported by The Athletic.
Downes has been the subject of interest from Crystal Palace and West Ham, but it is reported that a bid for the midfielder has been recently turned down, prompting him to lodge his request with the League One promotion hopefuls. Earlier in the summer, it was reported that Roy Hodgson’s Palace wanted to pay around £2m for the England Under 20 star, but that the Blues felt he was worth in the region of £4m.
Paul Lambert also spoke of his desire to keep Downes at the club, saying; “That can happen at the best of times,” referring to bigger clubs coveting his stars. “Clubs can’t stop it. The money would have to be right but we also have to remember where the club is at and how things have impacted it.”
Palace join the likes of West Ham and Arsenal in hunting Downes, who was arguably one of Ipswich’s key performers in a disappointing season which saw them finish 11th in the third-tier, their worst finish since 1953. He appeared 29 times in the league, scoring twice, taking his Ipswich tally to 74 outings. He also enjoyed a spell on loan with Luton Town in 2017/18 as they finished second in League Two, making ten appearances.
News of Downes handing in a transfer request is likely to interest other Premier League sides looking to develop young talent. Arsenal, in particular, have been snapping up young players as they look to build an ongoing legacy under Mikel Arteta.
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Downes is a huge talent and a player who looks to have a big future in football. Sadly, many Ipswich fans do not feel their club are going to be challengers this season and Downes could find himself lost in the banality of mid-table third-tier football.
For his career, a move away seems sensible, so it is now all down to valuation. Will Ipswich yield in the face of him handing in a request? Or, can Palace, West Ham or any other number of suitors find the fee Ipswich want and settle the situation before the season starts. Ipswich have recruited just three players this summer and a £m sale would certainly help Paul Lambert’s recruitment drive.