TRANSFER LATEST: Norwich City boss Chris Hughton on Joseph Yobo and the futures of RvW, Javier Garrido and Wes Hoolahan
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Norwich City boss Chris Hughton has confirmed he is targeting ex-Everton defender Joseph Yobo as the man to bolster his depleted central defence – and the Canaries’ chief also scotched talk of surprise exits for Ricky van Wolfswinkel and Javier Garrido.
City’s club record signing van Wolfswinkel was touted with a return to his native Holland during the week and a potential loan stint at PSV Eindhoven after a frustrating injury-hit start to his Norwich career. Garrido has also been linked with a loan move to Spanish club Real Betis, but Hughton dismissed both reports at his Colney pre-match press call on Thursday afternoon ahead of the Premier League trip to Cardiff. Hughton insisted any rumours van Wolfswinkel is unsettled at Carrow Road are wide of the mark.
“Not that I am aware of. If people think he is homesick or he hasn’t settled you couldn’t be further from the truth,” said Hughton. “There is no doubt Ricky would not have got the goals he would have liked to. What he has given the team is a whole-hearted work ethic. He enjoys training. He is a very good personality to have around. He is delighted to be here. He wouldn’t be the first person who has taken a while to get into his stride. It is frustrating for him because he somebody who is used to scoring goals. It becomes a question of confidence and once he gets the first the others will come quickly. He is a striker and they are used to these periods. I don’t think I need to give any message to other clubs. He is someone we signed on a long term deal in the summer and he is an integral part here.
“As regards Javi, that is the first I have heard of that. It has been tough for Javi with the form that Martin Olsson has been in. He is an integral part of the squad. He works and trains hard every day and he is a very valued member of the squad.”
Hughton also denied any interest in AZ Alkmaar’s Johann Gudmundsson and distanced the club from continuing reports of a bid for Blackburn’s Scott Dann as he looked to tie up a short-term deal for Fenerbahce’s Yobo.
“He is someone we are in talks with at the moment,” said Hughton. “Everyone knows we have a problem with Michael Turner who has a hamstring pull that will keep him out for a fair amount of time. We needed to fill that area and of course Joseph is somebody who knows this division very, very well. He has great experience and that is one we hope to see completed. Whether he would be available for this weekend is something we will have to think about. He is not in England at present. What is more important is we are in talks at the moment.
“I think Scott Dann has been linked because most people have looked at a situation at centre half and perhaps looked at alternatives who might be available. No, he is just one of a few names that have been mentioned but we are trying to push through the Yobo deal.”
Hughton revealed there was no change in Wes Hoolahan’s situation ahead of deadline day although the City boss was forced to respond to an incident earlier in the day when the Republic of Ireland international is understood to have been involved in a brief off-air exchange with a television reporter, during which Hoolahan was allegedly disparaging towards his current employers.
“What you are telling me is news to me. It is not something I am aware of and is something I will have to investigate,” said Hughton. “What I have always been able to do is front the media on something I have knowledge of and can speak of in an appropriate and correct way. We know it is an unsettling time for players in that situation (out of the team), but it won’t be the first or the last time you have to deal with situations like that, and it is my responsibility as the manager (to do so). There are always going to be procedures you have at the club, whether a player wants to go or whether the club want to keep that particular player. At this moment, Wes is very much a Norwich player.”