Huddersfield ready to play hard ball with Norwich City over Stuart Webber
PUBLISHED: 06:00 28 March 2017 | UPDATED: 11:31 28 March 2017
Huddersfield are ready to play hard ball in Norwich City's bid to recruit Stuart Webber as sporting director.
The Canaries have identified the Terriers’ current head of football operations as a key figure in their new strategy.
Webber is believed to want the chance to join the Carrow Road revolution, with City willing to trigger the compensation clause in his current Terriers’ deal, for a 33-year-old credited with a major role in Huddersfield’s bid to reach the Premier League.
Norwich declined to comment on Monday regarding the possible impasse, with Webber reportedly placed on gardening leave by his club.
The Terriers have also yet to make any public statement, but Huddersfield chairman Dean Hoyle is in no rush to sanction Webber’s early exit. City’s hierarchy want both the sporting director and head coach appointments in place before the start of the summer to oversee a major overhaul of the squad.
Chairman Ed Balls stressed recently the on-going recruitment drive is part of a long term plan to transform the football operations at Carrow Road. City opted not to pursue the likes of Gary Rowett or Mark Warburton in a bid to focus on attracting a sporting director who can play a key role in the search for Alex Neil’s permanent successor.
Alan Irvine will continue in temporary charge for Saturday’s Championship game to Aston Villa, before the Canaries head to Huddersfield five days later.
Hoyle has already made it publicly clear this season he will let nothing derail the ambitious Terriers’ bid for top flight football, issuing a stern hands-off warning when German head coach David Wagner was linked with a possible return to the Bundesliga.
“Huddersfield Town may not be a Bundesliga club or one that plays in European competition, but make no mistake – we are a serious, proud, ambitious club with a rich history,” he said, speaking just days after Wagner’s Huddersfield had swept Norwich aside 2-1 in December. “We are not to be toyed with or dismissed out of hand. We have values and always conduct ourselves in the right manner; something that cannot be said for other clubs. I think David’s on-going commitment to Huddersfield Town is testament to this club and its standing. David is an excellent head coach and he deserves the praise coming his way.
“He is the first Huddersfield Town manager or head coach to be linked with other jobs since the early days of Lee Clark’s tenure.
“In that sense, it is refreshing to have a head coach that is wanted by others. However, his commitment to this club should not be questioned. I appreciate that speculation can unsettle our supporters and players alike, so it is important to be clear on this. The day will come when David moves on, as is the case with every manager or head coach at every club in world football. However, that day is not upon us.”
Webber recruited Wagner in 2015 and the head coach has already been strongly touted with a City switch since Webber emerged as the front runner for the sporting director role at Carrow Road.