City to benefit from Safri bidding war?

CHRIS LAKEY Norwich City could end up the beneficiaries of a bidding war after two other Championships clubs were linked with Canaries midfielder Youssef Safri yesterday

CHRIS LAKEY

Norwich City could end up the beneficiaries of a bidding war after two other Championships clubs were linked with Canaries midfielder Youssef Safri yesterday

West Bromwich Albion are said to be confident of sealing a deal to take the Moroccan international to The Hawthorns in the next few days.

But Charlton and Southampton are reportedly interested in Safri - and if City are willing to let the player go, then a bidding war would potentially up the transfer value.


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The Baggies are flush with cash after the departures of Diomansy Kamara and Jason Koumas for a total of £11.3m, and sources suggest they could start the bidding at a figure of at least £1m.

That would represent a healthy profit for City, who paid Coventry £500,000 for Safri three years ago.

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While West Brom boss Tony Mowbray is keen to add new blood to his midfield, the situations are Charlton and Southampton are slightly more complicated.

Charlton boss Alan Pardew - City manager Peter Grant's boss at West Ham until last October - has a midfielder on his shopping list, but sources in south London suggest the name he has is not Safri's. However, he has had former Leeds midfielder Jody Morris on trial - and has been impressed - which suggests that adding another player in that position wouldn't be out of the question.

Then there is the added factor of Amdy Faye, who has been the subject of speculation linking him with a move to Birmingham, which would leave Pardew short of one experienced, quality midfielder.

Southampton boss George Burley's only incoming business has been to make Marek Saganowski's loan deal a permanent one, although £5m has come in from the sale of Gareth Bale to Spurs and another £3m will be added to the pot when defender Chris Baird joins Sunderland.

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