Paul Lambert exit at Ipswich not linked to takeover rumours - Lee O'Neill

Paul Lambert shouts to his players
Lambert took over as Ipswich boss in October 2018

Boss Paul Lambert's exit from Ipswich Town had nothing to do with a reported takeover and "no offer is on the table" for the League One club, according to general manager Lee O'Neill.

Lambert said before his exit on Sunday he was "99%" sure he would be replaced if a rumoured takeover went through.

Ex-Wigan boss Paul Cook is set to succeed Lambert, but O'Neill said owner Marcus Evans was not "looking to sell".

He said the timing of Lambert's exit amid takeover talk was a "coincidence".

"This is a completely separate decision," said O'Neill, who insisted he did not know if Cook was set to be appointed.

"This situation is not new. There is never a good time when you are looking to make a change in manager.

"It got to a time where it was difficult to continue and it had been difficult for a while. It's an accumulation of things. These things get to a point where it's best to look for a new manager."

Lambert left his role because of "significant differences of opinion", according to Evans.

Cook, 54, is in advanced talks to replace the 51-year-old Scot, although no agreement has yet been reached.

O'Neill was adamant that Evans, who bought Ipswich Town in 2007, was not close to selling up.

"Marcus is not actively looking to sell the football club," O'Neill added.

"As he's always said, if there was an offer on the table from anyone who was interested in taking the football club over and they were going to provide significant investment and move the club forward then he would always look at that. His stance hasn't changed.

"There isn't an offer on the table, but he will always look at an offer if there is."

American businessman Brett Johnson is reportedly close to buying the club for £17.5m.external-link

"The rumours around ownership are coincidental," O'Neill added.

"Our priority right now is to try and get the right appointment."

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