A major update has emerged in Ipswich’s pursuit of Rekeem Harper, and it could lead to Mark Ashton striking gold for Ipswich.
According to the East Anglian Daily Times, Ipswich are in advanced talks with Championship side West Brom over a deal to sign the midfielder. The Blues have not sealed a deal yet, while the report claims that they could face competition from other interested parties, although no clubs are explicitly named.
TWTD have also reported on the news, claiming that Ipswich have made an offer of £500,000 for the former England youth international. The report adds that Ipswich CEO Mark Ashton was at West Brom earlier in his career and has put his connections to good use with this potential deal.
Former West Brom manager Slaven Bilic lavished praise on Harper back in 2020, claiming that Harper has “no limits” and is a powerhouse in midfield.
The Croatian told the Express and Star: “I never denied that I love him as a player – I love those kind of players, who are powerhouses but can pass the ball, that’s great.
“He’s in a good way, let’s be honest, but he cannot stop, he must keep working. It’s also my job to keep him like that.
“If he continues to show what he’s been doing recently, then he’s got no limits.”
Ipswich CEO Ashton could be about to pull off a masterclass in the transfer window by bringing Harper to Portman Road. If Ipswich are able to get a deal over the line, they could strike gold as the 21-year-old is a talented midfielder with plenty of potential, which means that he could be an excellent addition in the short and long term for Paul Cook’s side.
However, it must be stressed that the deal is not complete yet and there appears to be a little way to go before he is holding up an Ipswich shirt and smiling for photos.
Harper has already played 48 games across Premier League and Championship level with West Brom and Birmingham, and this shows that he is experienced at a higher standard than League One. He started 13 games in West Brom’s 2018/19 campaign as they lost out on promotion to the top flight via the play-offs, highlighting the trust Bilic had in the youngster to perform at the top end of the Championship despite his tender age.
The £8,000-per-week beast could be a superb addition to Cook’s Ipswich squad as he is accustomed to playing at a higher level of football. Harper could flourish playing at a step down in the football pyramid, which is why this could be a masterclass from Ashton.
He also has time on his side to develop under Cook and progress as a player at Portman Road. He is only 21 and is a player who Ipswich could take along for the journey if they have ambitions to reach the Premier League, potentially allowing him to step up alongside the club as he improves as a midfielder.