Updated Rumour Mill: Norwich City eye West Ham defender James Collins; Michael Turner touted with Sheffield United
PUBLISHED: 11:53 16 August 2015
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Norwich City have switched their attentions to West Ham's out-of-favour central defender James Collins as the Canaries gear up for a late transfer push.
The Sunday Express report the Welsh international is a possible target for Alex Neil, who has made it clear he wants to add two new signings ahead of the September 1 deadline.
Collins is yet to feature in the Premier League this season under new Hammers’ coach Slaven Bilic and has fallen further down the pecking order with the summer arrival of Italian Angelo Ogbonna.
The 31-year-old Collins has had two spells at Upton Park, either side of three years with Aston Villa, and has gone for a combined total of £7.5m in transfer fees during his career.
Neil sanctioned the departures of Carlos Cuellar and Ignasi Miquel earlier this summer but Ryan Bennett is currently the understudy to first choice central defensive duo Sebastien Bassong and Russell Martin.
Michael Turner is the only other recognised central defender on Norwich’s books, but the Sunday Mirror claim new Blades’ boss Nigel Adkins is interested in recruiting the experienced 31-year-old, although the report suggests Turner would be reluctant to drop down to League One.
City’s League Cup opponents, Rotherham, were among a number of sides in the Championship who made enquiries during the early part of the summer for Turner, who spent the second-half of last season on loan at Fulham and appears out of favour under Neil after making only four senior appearances since the Scot’s arrival.
Meanwhile, City continue to be linked with Crystal Palace striker Dwight Gayle, who has rejected £8m overtures from Championship new boys Bristol City.
Gayle has since been touted with London rivals Fulham in the last couple of days, but the Daily Mail report Gayle is holding out for a Premier League club.
Eagles’ chief Alan Pardew revealed prior to the weekend Gayle had asked to leave in a search for regular first team football.
“He came and saw me at the start of the season to express a view to move elsewhere,” he said. “I said, ‘Okay, that’s fine with me, we’ll try to get you a club.’ Now there is a club and he’s reluctant to go. The ball is firmly in Dwight’s court. ‘Dwight last year was a little bit not involved in the first team. It’s difficult to fit him into the way I play.
“He came to see me and said he would like to move on. Dwight can play in the Premier League, but having said that, Bristol City is a great club. A club with momentum. The owner wants to push up to the Premier League. That decision isn’t mine. That’s Dwight’s decision. We aren’t going to force anyone to go anywhere they don’t want to go. It’s about the boy understanding what the best scenario is for him. At the moment, it’s not here.”
Neil wants to add a striker in the final two weeks of the transfer window, but the City boss was reluctant to be drawn further on his targets following Saturday’s 3-1 Premier League win at Sunderland.