Promotion hopefuls – Ipswich snap up Fulop in bid for top flight

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Roy Keane is upping the ante in the transfer market as he looks to mould his Ipswich Town side into genuine promotion contenders.

Sunderland goalkeeper Marten Fulop is the latest player to join the Tractor Boys, who are 11/2 to win promotion to the Premier League this season.

The 27-year-old Fulop had a loan spell at Manchester City last season, and the Hungarian player will know Keane well having worked alongside him at Sunderland.

Ipswich have already signed Cardiff’s veteran left-back Mark Kennedy for around £75,000, and the 34-year-old has impressed in his pre-season showings to date.

Keane has been less successful, however, in his pursuit of Kennedy’s former team-mate Michael Chopra, who seems to be staying in south Wales for the time being.

Having signed Chopra for £5m during his time as Sunderland manager, Keane sees the former Newcastle hitman as the ideal player to fire Ipswich’s promotion tilt.

Ipswich begin their season with a difficult trip to Middlesbrough, who are the 6/1 favourites to win the Championship title.

Boro manager Gordon Strachan has spent lavishly this summer – with Kevin Thomson, Stephen McManus and Kris Boyd among the new recruits – and the home side are 5/6 to win their first tie.

Keane’s renovated Tractor Boys, however, will look to their own new recruits to inspire an away win, which is priced at 10/3.

And the wheeling and dealing is far from over for Keane, as he looks to plug the gaps left by players who have departed or are on the verge of doing so.

Defender Alex Bruce has left for Leeds, while Keane is also looking to offload Owen Garvan and former Blackburn striker Jonathan Stead.

The Championship promises to be as manically competitive as ever this season. Nottingham Forest are among the title favourites at 8/1. See the full Championship 2010/11 Betting Odds market.

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Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.