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Ipswich ready to hijack £15 million summer transfer of Manchester City centre-back



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On-loan Manchester City defender Taylor Harwood-Bellis is set to be at the centre of a summer bidding war between two current Championship clubs.

The 22-year-old has spent the current campaign on a season-long loan at Southampton, and would permanently move to St Mary’s this summer, should the Saints achieve promotion back to the top-flight, due to a contractual agreement with Manchester City.

The England Under-21s international has enjoyed loan spells at Burnley, Blackburn, Stoke City and RSC Anderlecht, and helped Vincent Kompany’s side achieve promotion to the Premier League last season.

Harwood-Bellis is bidding for back-to-back promotion successes, with Southampton one of four teams currently fighting for the two automatic Premier League promotion spots, amid a tight battle between Ipswich, Leicester City, Leeds United and the Saints.

The centre-back has made 35 Championship appearances for Southampton this season, and has also been directly involved in five goals for the Saints.

Harwood-Bellis also featured in three Emirates FA Cup fixtures, including the fifth round defeat to Liverpool at Anfield.

Should Southampton fail to achieve promotion, Harwood-Bellis could still be set to play top-flight football next season, with fellow promotion-chasing Ipswich interested in hijacking the Saints’ £15 million move for the Englishman.

Alan Nixon on Patreon reports that Ipswich are ‘ready to pounce’ for the signature of the 22-year-old, should Kieran McKenna’s side beat Southampton to top-flight promotion this season.

Ipswich are ‘keen’ to sign the central defender should they reach the Premier League, but will be unable to complete a deal should Southampton also achieve promotion, with a £15 million mandatory purchase agreement already in place with Manchester City.

The Stockport-born defender is another success of the City Football Academy, and Harwood-Bellis has previously made eight first-team appearances for Manchester City, making his debut against Preston North End in 2019.

The defender has never played in the Premier League for Pep Guardiola’s side, but has featured in the UEFA Champions League.