Friday, January 18, 2013
Chris Hughton’s priority is bolstering Norwich City’s squad in the January transfer window – not offloading any of his senior men after Simeon Jackson was touted with a £1m move to Championship club Wolves.
Sky Sports last night claimed the Canaries have firmed up their interest in Swansea hitman Danny Graham by launching a club-record £5m bid, with Premier League rivals Sunderland also in the running for the former Watford striker.
Hughton was non-committal when questioned earlier in the day on fresh speculation linking City with striking reinforcements, but the Norwich boss insisted there had been no contact from Molineux amid reports of an imminent swoop for Jackson.
The City chief sanctioned fresh loan moves for Elliott Ward, Chris Martin and Jacob Butterfield over the past week or so, but Jackson is not set for a swift exit to the West Midlands.
Wolves’ new boss Dean Saunders has reportedly targeted the Canadian international striker as the man to help fire his charges back into promotion contention.
“No, that is something I have only just been told about. It was not something that I was aware of,” said Hughton. “At this moment I think it is our duty, if we are able to, to improve the squad. If a situation presented itself and I had to make a decision then of course I will do at that time.
“At this moment I have no real thoughts of anybody leaving. It is about adding to what we have got. I think numbers-wise (in the squad) we are fine.
“If you look generally at our bench during the season you would regard them as first team players or first team regulars.
“From that aspect we have been okay. Of course the injury situation up front hit us a little bit, having Steve (Morison) and Grant (Holt) out for a period of time, and that is what you have to guard against and why we want to add some quality to what we have got.”
Graham and Celtic’s Gary Hooper continue to be strongly linked with moves to Norfolk and Hughton insists City remain vigilant in the developing transfer window.
“I suppose there are others as well but I am very much anticipating it to go the last week or the last couple of weeks,” he said. “No doubt other names will be mentioned during that time but it is my responsibility to only report back to you on fact or something that is close to being fact. We are not at that stage. Where we are is exactly the same news as every previous press conference. We are working very hard. We are trying to do things the right way if something benefits us and we are able to do it. That is always the difficulty in January. The summer is a longer period to do your diligence. January is tougher for a lot of reasons.”
Hughton revealed he is also weighing up his options in the goalkeeping department with injured first choice John Ruddy sidelined for another two months. City and their East Anglian rivals Ipswich have been mooted as potential destinations for wantaway Nottingham Forest keeper Lee Camp – who played three games on loan with the Canaries in 2006 – and Hughton is keen to allow Declan Rudd out on loan – under the right circumstances.
“The ideal scenario would be send one of the young keepers we have, particularly Dec, out on loan,” he said. “They need to be playing games to help their development and if we were able to do that it is definitely something I would consider. But if we go through the window with what we have keeper-wise, I am fine with that. They are decisions we are looking to make. We have two good young keepers at the moment, along with Mark Bunn, and we are aware John is still out for the next couple of months.”
City’s Premier League rivals QPR appear committed to spending their way out of trouble with a mega-money package enticing Marseille’s frontman Loic Remy to Loftus Road earlier this week, but Hughton insists Rangers are not the top flight benchmark.
“I think it is something you are used to. QPR have spent big money over this last season and a half and now big money to bring in a top striker,” he said. “That is how they chose to do it within the framework of their club. We are ambitious here. We do want to develop but it has to be within our framework and that is the same for the majority of football clubs.
“Of course there are always going to be ones with more resources who can attract big money players and that is never going to change.”