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Thursday, 29 June, 2000, 16:51 GMT 17:51 UK
England keeper for sale
Richard Wright
Richard Wright is on the transfer list
England goalkeeper Richard Wright is up for sale after failing to agree a new contract with Ipswich.

Kevin Keegan's number three keeper, who has a year left on his current deal with the Premiership newcomers, is bound to attract the interest of top clubs in both England and Scotland.

Earlier this month, Wright's agent Jonathan Barnett admitted the player would be interested in a move to Celtic.

The 22-year-old has been a star performer for George Burley's side over the last three seasons and played a crucial role in their promotion to the top flight last term.



"We cannot afford to jeopardise his transfer value, which would be to the detriment of the club."

Ipswich chairman David Sheepshanks

He saved a penalty on the stroke of half-time in the Division One play-off final victory over Barnsley and also produced a stunning stop in the closing stages to deny Georgi Hristov what would have been a dramatic equaliser.

Ipswich are determined not to allow Wright to leave for nothing under the Bosman ruling when his contract expires next summer - and have instead decided they have no option but to cash in on one of their most valuable assets.

Chairman David Sheepshanks said: "Regrettably, we have been unable to make any progress after further discussions with Richard Wright and his agent.

"Richard is not prepared to sign a new contract at the moment, and this leaves the club no option other than to make him available for transfer - which we are now doing.


Wright joy
Ambitious Wright hopes to lift more trophies
"The reason for this is that he has only one year remaining under current terms with Ipswich Town, and we cannot afford to jeopardise his transfer value which would be to the detriment of the club."

Wright was included as third-choice goalkeeper behind David Seaman and Nigel Martyn in Keegan's England squad for Euro 2000 and made an eventful debut in the final warm-up game against Malta.

He conceded two penalties, one of which he saved, and also scored an own goal as he picked up his first cap.

Disappointing

Sheepshanks has refused to given up all hope of Wright still being with the East Anglian club when the new season gets under way at Tottenham on August 19.

He added: "This is disappointing news but not necessarily the end of matter - the door is still open, and we certainly haven't given up hope yet that between now and the start of the season Richard may still agree a new contract with us."


George Burley
Ipswich boss George Burley rates Wright highly
If Wright does depart, it will be a major blow to Burley's Premiership plans with the new season rapidly approaching.

After the Wembley triumph in May, Burley was full of praise for Wright and tipped him to go on and become one of the all-time greats.

The Ipswich boss said: "He is the finest young goalkeeper in the country.

"I would think he is another Gordon Banks. I can see him going on and on. He is so conscientious, a great professional and really a terrific player."

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See also:

14 May 00 | Squad
Richard Wright
29 Jun 00 | England
Keegan: I must change my approach
28 Jun 00 | England
Venables hints at England return
28 Jun 00 | England
Uefa sorry for Keegan criticism
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