Rumour mill: Norwich City slap £3.5m price tag on Gary Hooper amid Sheffield Wednesday interest
10:28 07 January 2016
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Norwich City’s on-loan striker Gary Hooper will reportedly cost Sheffield Wednesday £3.5m if the Owls aim to turn his loan move into a permanent January deal.
Owls’ chief Carlos Carvahal has publicly made Hooper his number one target this month and Thursday’s Sun claim City will sanction a move if the Yorkshire club meet their £3.5m asking price.
Hooper has scored twice in 11 appearances for the Championship promotion hopefuls but his current loan deal runs out on January 17. The 27-year-old’s opportunities under Alex Neil appear to be limited with the Canaries’ boss linked with striking reinforcements to bolster the club’s Premier League push.
Carvahal admitted earlier this week he wants Hooper to stay at Hillsborough.
“I wish, seeing as it’s been my first option since the beginning as I tell them (the board). I wish that he’d stay here of course,” Carvahal told BBC Radio Sheffield. “But let’s see as it’s something that I can’t control. Let’s see in the future.”
Hooper has scored 20 goals in 70 appearances for the Canaries since a £5.5m move from Celtic in July 2013 but the striker has never been able to establish himself as a frontline option at Carrow Road.
Meanwhile, Cardiff’s Craig Noone has again been linked with a possible Norwich move. Neil was interested in the Bluebirds’ flyer in the January 2015 window, amid reports on that occasion of a £2m offer, but according to Wales Online, the City boss may be ready to revive his interest in the 28-year-old, who has also been linked with Norwich’s Premier League rivals Bournemouth this month.
Noone is contracted to the Welsh club until 2018 and has scored four goals in 25 appearances for Russell Slade’s men this season.
Leeds’ pursuit of Kyle Lafferty appears to have reached an impasse with Whites’ boss Steve Evans keen to tie up the striker initially on loan.
“We want it to be a loan deal with the option of a permanent. Norwich City have respectfully said that they want it to be on a permanent. We’re not going to be doing it on a permanent initially,” Evans told the Yorkshire Evening Post. “We want to be able, if it’s possible, to bring the player here but that’s proving very difficult. If it proves not to be the case then we’re not only thinking of Kyle Lafferty, there are other players we’re looking at. It’s not Kyle Lafferty or nobody.
“There are other options. If we take another option then the Kyle Lafferty interest will suddenly drop off. They’ve made it clear that they would want Kyle to leave on a permanent and if someone out there is prepared to do that then we have to respect that they’re in a different situation to us.”