Finidi given free transfer

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IPSWICH TOWN have given Nigerian midfielder Finidi George a free transfer following his disappointing spell with the Division One club.

The 31-year-old joined the Portman Road club from Spanish outfit Real Mallorca for £3.5 million in August 2001.

His time with the Suffolk club has seen him sidelined with a fractured cheekbone injury as well as international commitments last season with the Nigerian squad in the African Cup of Nations.

The former Ajax and Real Betis man has seen little action this term since Town were relegated from The Premiership at the end of last season.

Ipswich chairman David Sheepshanks told the club's website: "Finidi is available on a free transfer and negotiations are under way with a number of interested parties."

It is expected that a deal with a new club for the African ace will be confirmed once the transfer window opens next month.

Meanwhile, Sheepshanks has revealed that goalkeeper Matteo Sereni and midfielder Ulrich Le Pen will remain with their loan clubs on a permanent basis.

The Portman Road chief was speaking at the club's annual general meeting on Thursday and explained that Sereni will stay at Serie A side Brescia while Le Pen will remain with Le Championnat club Strasbourg.

Sheepshanks expects to make a loss on the duo once permanent deals are reached with the players' current clubs.

Sheepshanks told the East Anglian Daily Times: "Values have dropped. We were fortunate to sell Titus Bramble to Newcastle for more of an older value than the newer values.

"Good players will always be desirable to top clubs and we will endeavour to get the best possible value in the transfer market but the value of players may now be considerably less than supporters might expect.

"It is a new market place which may exist in months and years ahead.

"It will take some time to shake off."

In other news, former Ipswich boss George Burley has revealed that he had taken a 50 percent wage cut as manager, when the club were relegated at the end of last season.

Burley was speaking in a debate on BBC Radio about the economic state of football in England and suggested that relegated clubs should look to take wage cuts as he did at the start of this season, before he was eventually sacked.

Burley said: "I was on a contract that reduced by 50 percent when we were relegated, and I was very happy to accept it.

"That is the way it should be.

"It should be designed correctly ... because you can't keep paying the same money if you are in a different division.

"One year, in Ipswich, you are earning £16 million from TV and then the next season you are getting £700,000, and that doesn't add up."