Fleming set for Canaries farewell?
CHRIS LAKEY Norwich City's longest-serving player, Craig Fleming, could be on his way out of Carrow Road. The 35-year-old club captain, a Canaries fixture for more than nine years, is being targeted by League One side Bournemouth, who are managed by former Norwich player Kevin Bond.
Norwich City's longest-serving player, Craig Fleming, could be on his way out of Carrow Road.
The 35-year-old club captain, a Canaries fixture for more than nine years, is being targeted by League One side Bournemouth, who are managed by former Norwich player Kevin Bond.
“He has given fantastic service to Norwich,” said Bond. “He has got lots of experience and is a dependable centre-half.
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“I definitely think he would be the kind of person I would like at the club.
“I am led to believe he might be surplus to requirements at Norwich and if that is the case I would certainly like to explore the possibility of persuading him to come here.”
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Fleming's first-team appearances have been limited to just four starts this season and there is no doubt a move to City boss Peter Grant's former club would appeal - especially as he also knows Bond's assistant, former Norwich defender Rob Newman.
However, it is understood that Bournemouth may face competition, with at least two other Championship clubs interested in Fleming's services.
Fleming is out of contract at the end of the season and, while he was not included in the travelling squad that won 4-1 in the FA Cup third round at Tamworth on Saturday, he has been named in the reserves side which will face a Tottenham second string at Carrow Road this evening.
Fleming was unavailable for comment yesterday.
City and Bournemouth have strong links - with Grant at this end and at the other end with Bond and another ex-City defender, Rob Newman, who is assistant manager.
And a second player could feature in any sort of deal, with Grant said to have Cherries' striker James Hayter on his shopping list.
Hayter would cost around £300,000 - although Grant may wait for a move on that one until he knows exactly where leading scorer Robert Earnshaw will be when the January transfer window closes.
Hayter was linked with a move to Carrow Road soon after Grant became manager in October, although the City boss was keeping quiet on the latest transfer rumours after the Cup win.
“There's nothing yet - Robbie played, that was the main thing,” he laughed.
Grant's January wish list includes Celtic midfielder Stephen Pearson, who is said to be in England with his agent, Willie McKay, weighing up his options after being given permission to talk to interested clubs.
Derby appear to have moved to the head of the queue after Celtic accepted their bid, but City and Sunderland are not out of the picture.
Rams manager Billy Davies said: “We're hoping we can bring Stephen here. We've agreed a fee with Celtic and he would be a valuable addition to our squad.”