Ipswich Town boss Paul Lambert has said that Bartosz Bialkowski is still an Ipswich player and will have to compete with new signing Tomas Holy for the number one position.
Bialkowski looked on the verge of completing a move to Millwall but the deal has fallen through after his medical, due to issues over a long-standing knee injury, according to the BBC.
The Polish international made 30 appearances for the Tractor Boys last season but will have to content with new arrival Holy, if he is to remain the first string goalkeeper for the upcoming season.
Holy arrived at Portman Road this summer after his contract with Gillingham expired.
The Ipswich players have now returned for pre-season and Lambert has suggested that the two shot-stoppers’ performances in the build-up to the season will decide who is first choice.
Speaking to itfc.co.uk, he said: “Jimmy [Walker, Town goalkeeping coach] went to watch Tomas play a few times and I saw him myself last season.
“We knew that it was likely that we would have to look at the goalkeeper options for this season and we’re delighted to have got Tomas in.
“He has a great stature, a great presence about him and has played a lot of games in the league. It’s going to be a good battle between the two of them for the position.”
Lambert confirmed that Millwall had been interested in Bialkowski but made it clear that he was still an Ipswich player.
He said: “He’s here and fighting for the number one spot.”
“You never know what can happen in football but he’s an Ipswich player, he’s a great pro and he’s here to play.”
Some serious competition will be good for Bialkowski if he is going to stay at Ipswich for their first season back in League One.
The fault in now way lies entirely at the goalkeeper’s door but he conceded 51 goals and did not keep a single clean sheet in 30 appearances last season.
Despite the failed medical, I would be surprised if Bialkowski stays at Portman Road over the summer as he is a proven Championship keeper who should be available for reasonably cheap.
Holy performed well for Gillingham last season and his arrival on a free transfer was a really smart bit of business from the Tractor Boys. The six-foot-nine Czech goalkeeper looks like a solid back up at the least.