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Bart: Burnley Move Was Really Close
Wednesday, 4th Oct 2017 10:08

Blues keeper Bartosz Bialkowski has revealed that he was “really close” to a move to Premier League Burnley during the summer but that the clubs were unable to agree a deal.

Bialkowski, speaking to Polish broadcaster TVP Sport, was asked whether it would be harder for him to make a move into the Premier League now he has turned 30, his birthday was in July, the Clarets having tried to sign him in the summer.

“It was really close but the clubs couldn't come to an agreement,” he responded. “On one hand I still dream about playing in the top division. On the other hand I have no regrets as I feel really good at Ipswich. Maybe we'll win promotion this year. It would be the best scenario of all.

“As for my age, I am planning on playing for a few more years still. I feel good and I hope to continue my career until I'm fit and healthy. I still love football and enjoy playing.”

TWTD previously reported Burnley’s interest in Bialkowski, Town’s Player of the Year for the last two seasons, while Wolves were also understood to have been keen early in the summer with the Blues believed to have put a £5 million price on their keeper’s head.

Bialkowski says Town sought to play down rumours of interest, which pleased him: "Yes, and I was happy about it. The fans respect me very much, my family loves Ipswich. My loved ones don't really want to move anywhere. If you're happy somewhere there's no point changing things just for the sake of it.”

The former Southampton and Notts County man is contracted to Town until the end of the season but with the club having an option for a further year. The 6ft 4in tall keeper said recently that he’d be open to extending that deal.

Braniewo-born Bialkowski, who has said before that his wife and children are very settled in Suffolk, dismissed the suggestion he would have to move on to progress further in his career.

“I am not looking at it this way,” he added. “There are still things to achieve for me with Ipswich and the most important thing now is hard work, every single day. This is my focus.”

Asked whether promotion is in Town’s reach, he said: “I hope so. We didn't make spectacular transfers but some of the lads we've got are the leading players in the league.

“We've played really well so far. We beat Sunderland 5-2 recently. This town misses Premier League football a lot. Ipswich used to play in the top division for quite a while and with some success. The current squad would like to be part of the club's successful history too.”

Meanwhile, Bialkowski says he’s heard nothing regarding a call-up to the Poland squad having won six caps at U20 level between 2005 and 2007.

“There's been no interest in me in the recent years,” he said. “And nobody from the national team staff has contacted me now either.

“Adam Nawalka [Poland head coach] has his hierarchy of goalkeepers, the same people have been receiving call-ups all the time and I am not going to force myself in, of course. There's a huge competition for the goalkeeper spot.”

He added: “I'm not bitter at all. It is still my dream to play for the national team but then again it's ‘only’ Championship.

“On the the other hand, Kamil Grosicki [Hull City] and Pawel Wszolek [QPR] play in the same league. The coach sees them as a part of the squad so it is possible to win a place in the national team from this level.”

Did he see things working out as they have on the international front a decade ago when he was with the U20s? “The time goes by but there's still no call-up. I've not won a single cap for the senior team.

“I used to be a different person back then, I made too many mistakes. There are few things I regret. I sat on the bench at Southampton for too long instead going somewhere where I'd play regularly. Now I am ready for the call-up, definitely.”

[Update] Bialkowski responded to a fan's tweet earlier this evening, clarifying that he had had no contact with Burnley.

Photo: TWTD

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dirtydingusmagee added 10:15 - Oct 4
#### that sounds ominous ,thought he was set on staying at Town, be really gutted if we lose him.OK some will say if the money is right, but the money seldom gets reinvested it seems, and we would struggle to find a good replacement. Gerks is ok but not up to Barts level in my opinion .

theblueginger added 10:17 - Oct 4
If Bart had gone we would now be sat in about 16th.

northernblues added 10:27 - Oct 4
Burnley is no place you'd want to move to by choice!

DublinBlue84 added 10:28 - Oct 4
I'm confused, before the transfer deadline Bart said he had no desire to go and the club said there were no bids, now we hear the opposite.

Glad to see the club hold the fans in such high regard and are open with them.

DublinBlue84 added 10:28 - Oct 4
I'm confused, before the transfer deadline Bart said he had no desire to go and the club said there were no bids, now we hear the opposite.

Glad to see the club hold the fans in such high regard and are open with them.

hampstead_blue added 10:32 - Oct 4
He is a wonderful player so this is no surprise.

TBH, playing under SD at Burnley would be great. One of the brightest managers in the leagues.

If he does go then so be it. Who can stop change! So long as we get a great deal.

Wickets added 10:37 - Oct 4
Pity but again we find out that what the club tell the fans is not the truth!!

runningout added 10:38 - Oct 4
No reason why we can’t win this tough league.

peteswindon added 10:54 - Oct 4
More a case of pity what the player tells the fans is not the truth. Very disappointed as I have so much respect for Bart. Would never criticise anyone for wanting to better themselves, But no need to lie. ;-(

Smithy added 10:57 - Oct 4
"There are few things I regret. I sat on the bench at Southampton for too long instead going somewhere where I'd play regularly"

So close to going to Burnley, where he'd sit on the bench behind Tom Heaton regularly????

PhilTWTD added 11:01 - Oct 4

Bit harsh on Bart, he said he wasn't going anywhere with a week or so of the window to go. I think the Burnley interest would have been much earlier.

blueboy1981 added 11:04 - Oct 4
One thing for sure is that with McCarthy as Manager, and playing for us - he won't be able to look forward to playing in the Premiership any time soon.

Abysmal defence in front of him at the moment - he deserves better. Where would we have been last season without him - or indeed this currently ... ?

MattinLondon added 11:07 - Oct 4
Most footballers are ambitious and I'm sure Bart wants to play for Poland regularly.

Yes he likes life at Ipswich but if a premier league club comes in for him then he has a duty to himself to jump up a level. It is possible to be happy somewhere but if a better opportunity arises then you still leave.

It takes a very good keeper to get our defence out of jail regularly and Bart has done so.


12th_Man added 11:10 - Oct 4
If Bart leaves we will be in league 1 end of

blueboy1981 added 11:27 - Oct 4
...... he had a raw deal from McCarthy in trying to get into our team (deserved much earlier, having to displace a MM favourite) and he's still having a raw deal deal with the defence he has in front of him. Not all of which can be blamed on injuries ... !!

Palestine added 11:49 - Oct 4
He is becoming an ITFC legend. Personally think he is worth more like £8-10m now, not £5m. As he is pretty much a Prem keeper (still makes mistakes though).

We'd certainly be pretty screwed if we had Gerks in goal - especially behind this defence - omg!

Let's hope we can keep him - and offer him a decent long-term deal.

casanovacrow added 11:54 - Oct 4
That £5m wouldn't fill the hole it would leave.

Radlett_blue added 12:15 - Oct 4
For once, credit to Evans & McCarthy for holding out for a high fee (say £5m) rather than biting their hands off & leaving the team in the lurch again. This, plus some of the summer signings, might indicate a little more realism about what is required for Town to be competitive in this league.

Steve_ITFC_Sweden added 13:20 - Oct 4
Don't think we should be too hard on Bart here. Anyone in the Championship would consider a move up to the PL, even if they were happy where they were, as Bart says he still is. Obviously he likes it at ITFC, but equally obviously he's going to be tempted by the chance of a better wage, etc. And the result was, he didn't move!

JimmyJazz added 13:50 - Oct 4
Actually he would now be first choice at Burnley, with Heaton out long term I believe

oldelsworthyfan added 14:04 - Oct 4
We all know if the money had been right for both Evans and Bart, Bart would have gone.
I'm glad he's still with us.
If only MM could sort out the defence in front of Bart. If only.......!

Garv added 14:20 - Oct 4
While good, we over rate Bart I think. He is massively important to us because we wouldn't adequately replace him, but he would be massively found out in the prem imo. Good lad though.

Seasider added 14:56 - Oct 4
This Manager has had twice as much time given to other managers this Century,and we are no nearer to getting to the Premiership.

Yes we scraped into the Playoffs under McCarthy but recall we also got there under BFJ,and he had sweet spend as we were in the throes of Administration.

I think Bart is a great keeper;so fear we could lose him in the New Year,if, as seems likely ,there is still no progress evident;which on Saturdays showing seems highly likely.

Whilst on the subject of transfer fees,was reading the Playoff Programme against Barnsley,and noticed that we were spending as much on players 20 years ago as now,probably more (ie David Johnson £1.1 m from Bury 2nd Nov 1996-Marcus Stewart 2 and a half million from Huddersfield ! Feb 2000).

That is why with Evans and McCarthy I cannot see us going up;so will be continually at risk of losing our best players like Bart.

The above was before Evans took over, which is ten years ago this December;previously transfer fees obtained were re-invested;but this has not happened in the last 10 years;so have no faith in Evans using this money to buy replacements for any of the players that go;especially as the attendances are more than 5000 down on those before his ill fated takeover.

BlueBlood90 added 15:19 - Oct 4
I personally think he's worth more than the £5m we quoted when you look at some of the mental fees paid nowadays.

As much as I love Bart, he does seem to contradict himself a bit in this interview. Talks about regretting being a sub at Southampton and enjoys living here and doesn't want to move. So why was he so close to joining Burnley which is 4 hours away and being no.2 to an England squad goalkeeper?

chrishants added 16:19 - Oct 4
Is this what was on his mind when he conceded the 3rd goal at Leeds !!!!!

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