Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert has rubbished reports Sheffield United will sign Luke Woolfenden for £3m.
It is claimed that the Blades are looking to land Woolfenden and Anderlecht’s Elias Cobbaut in a £10m double deal. Cobbaut will set them back £7m of that.
Yet Lambert says it will take much more than £3m if his young defender is to leave Portman Road during the January transfer window.
“You can put another three in front of that and then I might think,” the Ipswich boss told the East Anglian Daily Times. “Three million?! Three million doesn’t even buy you a flake! There’s absolutely no chance whatsoever that would ever happen.
“The big lad is playing fantastically well, everybody knows it. Three million? No way. Put it this way, I won’t let the same mistakes happen like happened with (Adam) Webster and the boy (Matt) Clarke, that’s for sure.
“There’s been no interest in any of our players as far as I know, but you can’t stop people putting bids in for guys.”
Why Sheffield United want Ipswich defender Woolfenden
Chris Wilder has made signing a new overlapping centre-back one of his priorities this month. Central defence is certainly an area where United currently lack strength in depth.
The starting trio of Chris Basham, John Egan and Jack O’Connell have been excellent so far this season, helping the Blades to the second best defensive record in the Premier League behind leaders Liverpool.
Yet beyond them, veteran Phil Jagielka represents the only reliable option. Richard Stearman has already left Bramall Lane in January to join Huddersfield Town. Meanwhile, Kean Bryan has also been told he can find a new club.
Therefore recruitment is needed, but clearly Ipswich won’t be letting Woolfenden leave without a fight. Which is unsurprising considering the 21-year-old has played 23 matches in all competitions this term to help the Tractor Boys to third in League One.