Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert has confirmed that the Tractor Boys are in talks with Everton over a January deal for defender Luke Garbutt.
Garbutt moved to Portman Road on a one-season deal in the summer and swiftly settled into his new surroundings, starting their first two games of the league term and scoring in both, but was soon sidelined for a month with a knee injury.
The 26-year-old has missed just one third-tier fixture since returning to the fold away to MK Dons in September, and added further successful strikes to his account against Tranmere Rovers and Blackpool but is yet to register an assist in any competition.
Nevertheless, Lambert has been impressed by what he has seen from the former England U21 international, and is hopeful that General Manager of Football Operations Lee O’Neill can agree a deal with Everton that will see Garbutt become a permanent Ipswich player in January.
“I think Lee is talking to Everton already because Luke has done great, scoring five goals from, more-or-less, left-back,” said Lambert, via quotes by the East Anglian Daily Times. “We’re really happy with his contribution since he’s been here.
“We could do [a deal in January] because Luke really enjoys it here, playing in front of big crowds every week. A lot will depend on Everton and on Luke of course.”
Would you sell Garbutt to Ipswich in January?
Garbutt has made his 12 League One appearances for the season across midfield and defence, with eight outings at left-back and four in a left-wing capacity, scoring twice in each role.
The 5 ft 10 26-year-old – with a TransferMarkt valuation of £675,000 – has also averaged 1.3 successful tackles from 1.6 attempts per 90 minutes in the third-tier, per WhoScored data, plus 0.6 interceptions, 3.0 clearances, 2.3 blocks and is successful with 0.3 of his 0.5 dribbles.
Garbutt is contracted to the Toffees until the summer of 2020 on a £28,000-per-week deal, meaning the winter market presents our last chance to secure a transfer fee for his services.
In other Everton news, the club have slapped a £14m asking price on a 6 ft 1 first-team regular amid Premier League interest.