Exclusive: Liam Gibbs set to leave Ipswich Town after contract talks break down amid Premier League interest from likes of Manchester United and Norwich City
It is the news many Ipswich Town fans will not want to hear but talented emerging midfielder Liam Gibbs is set to depart his boyhood club after contract talks broke down yesterday, Suffolk News can exclusively reveal.
With his Portman Road deal running out this summer the 18-year-old former Bury St Edmunds schoolboy was reportedly attracting interest from Premier League clubs such as Manchester United, Leeds United, Aston Villa and newly-promoted Norwich City. Scottish giants Glasgow Rangers were also said to be monitoring the situation.
We understand his first choice was to always stay in Suffolk with the Tractor Boys, whom he joined after being spotted playing for Bury Town Under-9s.
The player who was described by Blues academy chief Bryan Klug in an interview with us last summer as 'one of the most talented people I have worked with' was offered a new deal by the club at the start of the year, which we understand fell short of expectations.
Lee O'Neil, who was then general manager of football operations, had spoke to TWTD about the club being keen to keep hold of him.
Despite this, we understand talks only reignited yesterday, following his name being leaked on a list on players returning to training away from the first-team squad, but no agreement was able to be struck.
It means Gibbs is now a free agent from this morning and Ipswich are set to only get a nominal compensation fee for their part in training him.
He made his senior debut as a 17-year-old at Colchester United in the EFL Trophy in November 2019 before being rewarded with his first professional contract the following month.
The former Tollgate Primary School and County Upper School pupil has regularly attracted Premier League scouts to watch him since captaining the Town's Under-15s side to the Hibernia Trophy in Co Dunlin in 2017. He scored and assisted one goal in the final in a 2-0 victory against Celtic.
In 2019, as captain of the Under-16s he lifted the Hospital Cup against Norwich City.
The Bury St Edmunds-raised player also caught the eye of many in last season's memorable FA Youth Cup run, culminating in running Liverpool close in the semi-final at Portman Road.
It came after he was handed his Football League debut by former Blues manager Paul Lambert from the start in the 2-0 home defeat to Charlton Athletic last November. He also played two more times in the EFL Trophy.
He recently completed the Three Peaks Challenge for charity Head for Change with his brothers Ryan and Jordan.