Date: 6th June 2011 at 1:39am
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Michael Chopra top choice for Ipswich fans in prospective striker poll

Ipswich Town fans would favour a move for Cardiff City’s Michael Chopra or Doncaster Rovers’ Billy Sharp, according to the latest Vital Ipswich poll.

Following another disappointing season in front of goal, Town are in urgent need of extra firepower. Departed captain David Norris was the Blues’ top scorer this season with 11 goals in all competitions, whilst the next best marksman was Jason Scotland with 10. It is a far cry from the days of the former strike partnership of Darren Bent and Shefki Kuqi, who helped fire Town to successive playoff finishes with 64 goals between them from 2003 to 2005. Such prowess up front has been seriously lacking ever since their departure, and finding quality additions for the frontline has become new manager Paul Jewell’s top priority in the transfer market this summer. Numerous players have already been linked or targeted, one or more of which could potentially provde the answer for Town’s attacking dilemma.

So who would the fans like to see us go for in this transfer window? We offered you a choice of eight strikers who have been linked with Ipswich so far this summer, and here is how you voted:

38% – Michael Chopra (Cardiff City)
30% – Billy Sharp (Doncaster Rovers)
13% – David Nugent (Portsmouth – free agent)
7% – Simon Cox (West Bromwich Albion)
4% – Ollie Mann (Brantham Athletic)
4% – Nathan Tyson (Nottingham Forest – free agent)
2% – Ched Evans (Sheffield United)
2% – Jason Roberts (Blackburn Rovers)

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Cardiff’s Chopra tops the list with 38% of the vote and would appear good value for money. The former Sunderland striker, whom Town were heavily linked with last summer, has scored a total of 58 goals in 147 appearances for the Bluebirds yet could reportedly be available for as little as £1 million. Meanwhile nearly a third of voters chose Doncaster striker Sharp, for whom Ipswich already had a £2.3 million bid rejected last month. Further bids have not been ruled out, but the 25-year-old, who was Rovers’ top scorer with 15 league goals this season, could potentially prove too expensive for Jewell.

The next highest name on the list was perhaps surprisingly David Nugent, who could possibly be a shrewd snap on a free transfer following his release by Portsmouth, despite some considerable animosity towards him amongst many Town supporters! A further 7% voted for former Swindon star Simon Cox, who had appeared to have fallen out of favour at West Bromwich Albion but could yet prove his worth to new Baggies boss Roy Hodgson. Also included were released Nottingham Forest striker/midfielder Nathan Tyson and non-league hotshot Ollie Mann, both of whom attracted 4% of the vote each, whilst Sheffield United’s Ched Evans and Blackburn Rovers’ Jason Roberts attracted the least interest with just 2% each.

Chopra and Sharp are proven goalscorers at this level but would not come cheap, and whilst Town’s failed bid for Sharp suggests that Jewell will receive reasonable financial backing in the transfer market this summer, it remains to be seen whether he can actually land the players that he – and indeed the fans – will want. Time is of the essence however, and supporters will no doubt be eager to see progress made quickly. Whether or not it proves to be any of these names, let’s hope the Blues can find their man very soon.

This week’s poll: ‘With two months to go, are you confident that Ipswich will be ready for the new season?’ (See right-hand column to view the list and place your vote)

Who would you like to see in Ipswich Town’s attack next season? Share your views using the comment box below.

You can also have your say on this topic on our club forums – just click the banner below to register an account with Vital Ipswich:

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