Championship sides Hull City and Coventry City are set to challenge Ipswich Town in the running for former Tractor Boys loanee Bersant Celina, according to the East Anglian Daily Times.
As per the outlet, Paul Cook’s side had been working behind the scenes for a month to secure the 24-year-old for over a month after bringing him to Portman Road on loan back in the 2017/18 season, where he scored an impressive seven goals in 25 appearances and went on to sign permanently for Championship outfit Swansea City in the summer after being deemed surplus to requirements at the Etihad Stadium.
He then went on to appear regularly for the Welsh side during his two seasons at the Liberty Stadium before moving to then-French top division side Dijon last summer.
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However, their recent relegation and his lack of potency in front of goal has opened the door for Ipswich to negotiate a fee with the French club, with Celina still having three years left on his contract with his current side.
The 24-year-old is said to be keen on a return to Suffolk – but their inability to wrap up this deal quickly has opened the door for recently promoted side Hull City and Championship survivors Coventry City to swoop in and persuade the Kosovan to join a club in a higher tier.
There’s also interest from sides in the Eredivisie, with Celina spending time in the Dutch top division in the 2016/17 campaign with FC Twente.
With Championship sides now circling for the attacking midfielder, it’s time for Paul Cook to speed up negotiations and secure this deal before the likes of Hull and Coventry pull ahead in the race.
For many clubs, it’s no big deal if they miss out on a few targets in the transfer window because that’s part and parcel of participating in the market – but with Cook rebuilding his squad after a disappointing last year – missing out on several signings could be detrimental to the Tractor Boys’ progress next season.
But why is Celina such an important signing for Ipswich? Because of his record at Swansea City. He may have only picked up five assists last season and struggled in a lowly Dijon side, but he is likely to flourish in a promotion-chasing team and could flourish in Suffolk once again if they can complete this deal.