Sky Bet League One sides Ipswich Town and Doncaster Rovers are both interested in signing defender Dominic Ball on a free transfer this summer, according to reports from the Press and Journal.
Both sides will be looking to reshape their squads ahead of the new season, after enduring quite contrasting campaigns last time out.
Ipswich have been quite busy in the transfer window so far, bringing in James Norwood and Tomas Holy from Tranmere Rovers and Gillingham respectively, as Paul Lambert looks to take them back up to the Championship at the first time of asking.
Doncaster manager Grant McCann will also be looking to add minor tweaks to his side after losing in the League One play-off semi-finals last term, and are reportedly in the race to sign Ball.
Here, FLW writer George Harbey discusses this potential transfer deal in today’s six-pointer…
Who is Dominic Ball?
“Ball is a 23-year-old centre-half who spent the 2018/19 campaign on loan with SPFL side Aberdeen, on loan from Rotherham United.
“The defender came through the ranks at Tottenham Hotspur, and has spent time on loan with Cambridge United, Rangers and Peterborough United in his career thus far.”
What’s his situation right now?
“Ball is currently a free agent, having been recently let go by Rotherham United following the expiry of his contract at the New York Stadium.
“Since joining from Spurs in 2016, he made just 13 league appearances for the Millers, so it’s probably clear to see why Paul Warne chose not to renew his contract.
“The Press and Journal also reports that Ball has turned down a chance to return to Aberdeen permanently, leaving the door wide open for Ipswich or Doncaster to make a move.”
Clear to see why Ipswich are interested?
“I think the defence is an area in which Paul Lambert needs to strengthen this summer.
“Their chances of re-signing Matthew Pennington back from Everton are incredibly slim following their relegation from the Championship, and Luke Chambers’ future at Portman Road is far from certain.
“Ball is still relatively young and has a lot to prove, and he has a point to prove in the EFL for sure.”
Clear to see why Doncaster are interested?
“Again, it is clear to see why Doncaster would also be interested in signing Ball this summer.
“Paul Downing doesn’t look likely to return to the Keepmoat Stadium on a permanent basis next season, with Grant McCann revealing that the defender has a “huge” contract offer from elsewhere.
“They need to bolster their defensive options, and the signing of Ball would do just that.”
What are his main attributes?
“Standing at six-foot tall, Ball is clearly a dominant, commanding defender who is good in the air.
“But like modern-day centre-halves, he is also comfortable at bringing the ball out from the back.
“He would fit right in at Ipswich and Doncaster, who both like to play an attractive brand of football.”
Where would be the best move for him?
“That’s a tough one.
“Both Ipswich and Doncaster will be pushing for promotion to the Championship next season, and both managers will need to sell their vision to him this summer.
“You would argue that Ipswich are a bigger club than Doncaster, but he is likely to have laid roots in Yorkshire having spent a few years at Rotherham, so a move to Doncaster could be best for him.”