Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Chris Hughton’s north-east connections have predictably featured prominently in the first stirrings of close season transfer speculation involving the Canaries this summer.
Norwich have been added to a list headed by Fulham and QPR as potential suitors for Newcastle right-back Danny Simpson.
The 25-year-old is reportedly heading for the exit door at St James’ Park after contract talks stalled on extending his original three-year-deal which is now rapidly approaching the final 12 months. The Newcastle Evening Chronicle believes Alan Pardew will cash in rather than let Simpson run down the remaining year of his current deal.
The Europa League contenders have also been heavily linked with a potential replacement in high-class French international defender Mathieu Debuchy. Hughton signed Simpson for £750,000 when he was Magpies’ chief in 2010 and with Kyle Naughton returning to Tottenham after a successful season-long loan stint, City’s squad may need reinforcing in that area of the pitch, despite Russell Martin and George Francomb both signing extended contracts in recent weeks. Interestingly, Newcastle also feature prominently in another slice of transfer tittle tattle involving Norwich and Hughton’s predecessor, Paul Lambert.
Representatives for Ajax right-back Vurnon Anita claim the 23-year-old was contacted by the Canaries’ former boss, although Newcastle are also on Anita’s trail. The Dutch have reportedly slapped a prohibitive £8m price tag on the youngster to ward off potential Premier League suitors.
Anita’s representative Harry Lulofs, quoted in the Jarrow and Hebburn Gazette this week said: “Ajax are very satisfied with him and want to keep him, but Newcastle have been watching him for a long time and really want to sign him. This is the first offer Ajax have received for Vurnon and we’ll soon see how they react.
“The only other Premier League club to get in touch was Norwich. Paul Lambert called me to ask about him. Now he has moved to Aston Villa so maybe they will be in touch. I don’t know.”
Lambert has been heavily trailed with a raid on his old club for Grant Holt after the skipper re-affirmed his desire to leave last week following an initial transfer request.
City chief executive David McNally revealed recently West Ham failed with two close season initial bids below £4m, but the Daily Mail yesterday suggested Sam Allardyce will test City’s resolve once again with a bid of that amount for the 31-year-old. Villa and Everton are also reportedly monitoring the situation.
Finally, Skysports have thrown Norwich’s name into a list that includes Stoke, Wigan and newly-promoted duo West Ham and Reading reportedly keeping tabs on Greek striker Dimitris Salpingidis, who struck an equaliser for his country against Poland in the opening game of the Euros.