May 22 2013 Latest news:
Friday, June 15, 2012
Whether or not new Norwich City boss Chris Hughton fancies giving Chris Martin another go at the Premier League, it seems the striker is still wanted elsewhere.
The 23-year-old academy product impressed with seven goals in 28 appearances at Championship side Crystal Palace last season – and This is Croydon Today have suggested Eagles boss Dougie Freedman would like the player at his disposal for the new campaign.
Palace are reportedly yet to make contact with the Canaries but apparently plan to do so during the summer, weighing up whether another loan with the option to make it permanent at the end of next season would be worth pursuing.
Martin made four Premier League appearances at the start of last season for City – and there could be one more familiar face waiting at Selhurst Park should he make the move.
Freedman as finally admitted his interest in long-time reported target Aaron Wilbraham, after the 32-year-old front man was released by Norwich at the end of last season.
No deal has been done yet, with Freedman saying it is “early doors” in terms of coming to any agreement for the popular ex-City striker.
What may be more pressing for when Hughton settles in at Carrow Road is bringing new faces in.
Centre-back Curtis Davies remains ever-present in the speculation – and there are suggestions Hughton has enquired about his availability from Birmingham City, where the pair worked together last season.
The 27-year-old defender still has two years to run on his current deal, which was signed in January 2011 when Davies joined the then-top flight club – and wages as well as the player’s fee may require some negotiation.
Free agent Keith Andrews remains another name mentioned in dispatches, and the Republic of Ireland midfielder may now get the chance to think about his future given their Euro 2012 exit after defeat to Spain on Thursday. The 31-year-old, who spent some of last season on loan at Ipswich in the Championship, was released by West Bromwich Albion at the start of the month.
Another name doing the rounds is that of young Watford defender Adrian Mariappa, with the 25-year-old starting the last year of his contract. Premier League new boys Reading had a £2m turned down – according to the Daily Star, at least.
One of Hughton’s other attempts at recruitment could be scuppered by his predecessor – this time, thanks to the Daily Mail.
The paper believes Paul Lambert will win the race to sign Kyle Naughton, taking the 23-year-old right-back from Tottenham to Aston Villa for £4m deal despite City’s continued interest. Naughton was superb for Norwich during his season-long loan from Spurs last term. Lambert also wanted to sign him permanently at Carrow Road.
However, Harry Redknapp’s exit from White Hart Lane might leave that particular move under a cloud.
Lambert’s Villa wish list is no doubt one City fans will be wary of – and if The Mirror are to be believed, it will be a familiar one too.
The tabloid reckons young Spanish central defender Daniel Ayala, as well as wantaway captain Grant Holt remain prime targets.
Ayala, whose first season was ravaged by injury, signed a four-year deal when he joined from Liverpool in August – while Villa “are preparing a £5m bid” for Holt, with Lambert said to have £20m at his disposal for his summer rebuilding.
Lambert’s supposed list also contains Leeds winger Robert Snodgrass and Blackpool’s Matt Phillips – both players said to have been repeatedly targeted by Lambert during his reign at Carrow Road.