, EDP Sports Writer
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Norwich City boss Chris Hughton confirmed after tonight’s 1-1 Premier League draw against Tottenham he wants Leeds’ prolific hitman Luciano Becchio – and the Canaries have not conceded defeat in their attempts to land Celtic’s Gary Hooper.
Becchio is poised to make the switch from Elland Road with Steve Morison going in the opposite direction ahead of the January window closing tomorrow at 11pm.
City did complete a deal for Sporting Kansas striker Kei Kamara earlier today, subject to obtaining international clearance, with the Sierra Leone international moving on an initial loan switch which could lead to a permanent deal. Hughton admitted the Canaries are set for a hectic end to the window, with Becchio set to follow Kamara to Norfolk.
“The clubs are in discussion and that is one I hope gets done,” said the City chief, who distanced the club from speculation linking him with his former Birmingham centre-back Curtis Davies. “Whether Steve Morison has to be part of the deal or not, I don’t know, but that is the way the talks are going. All I know is we are in discussions with Leeds. We hope that can be concluded. With Hooper everyone knows where we are with him. We have put in bids that have been turned down (by Celtic). That is their prerogative. He is a very important play for them. Whether anything else happens, I don’t know. Do I think there will be any other business done? I don’t think so. The striking department was the most important one so I don’t expect anything else to happen apart from the ones we are looking at.”
Hughton revealed he is relishing the prospect of working with powerful frontman Kamara.
“We are just working on a work permit and a visa but he is a player who has done very, very well in the MLS over the last few seasons,” he said. “He has had a lot of assists and he will give us another dimension in forward areas and I am quite excited to work with him. I have seen him and anyone coming from a different country or a different division it is about how quickly they can settle in. We are not just taking an average player from that division, we are taking someone who has excelled in recent seasons. How quickly he can adapt and how much he can give us remains to be seen.”
The 28-year-old had a trial at Premier League rivals Stoke earlier this season without being offered a contract at the Britannia, and Kamara is determined to take his big chance.
“It is a very bittersweet day as I am excited to achieve one of my goals, which was to play in the English Premier League,” Kamara told Kansas City’s official site. “Being such a positive person, I trust in this decision and am thankful for the opportunity to play at Norwich City through the end of their season. I am grateful for the coaching staff at Sporting KC and especially Peter (Vermes) for believing in me and helping me through this process.”
Hughton can now switch his attentions to the final hours of tomorrow’s window after grabbing a spirited point against Tottenham. Gareth Bale’s superb solo run denied City all three points after Wes Hoolahan had put Norwich in command in the opening period at Carrow Road.
“Obviously disappointed to give that lead away,” he said. “It was difficult for us in that period because Tottenham have such offensive quality it is difficult to sustain it for 90 minutes. We needed a real top save from Mark Bunn late on but I genuinely thought we were going to hold out. It took a wonder strike from a world-class player. We could pick holes in where the play started and whether we could have stopped it at source but occasionally you have to hold your hands up and think it is a top goal from a top player.
“I was pleased with the intensity. What a lot of people forget is that it is difficult to sustain that over the course of a season. You just hope when we have your dips, you pick up points. We didn’t from four close games. What delighted me was that the level of performance was back to our good run.”
Spurs’ counterpart Andre Villas-Boas criticised City midfielder Alex Tettey’s attempt to halt Bale in the build-up to Tottenham’s leveller but Hughton was quick to defend the Norwegian.
“The way Bale went past him there didn’t seem to be too much wrong with him to me,” said Hughton. “I am disappointed with that because I don’t think Alex got anywhere near him.”