Nelson out as Norwich City fail to bring in Bennett
Paul Lambert will stick with the majority of his tried and trusted squad after the Canaries failed to persuade Brighton to part with winger Elliott Bennett on transfer deadline day.
But the City boss made one big call – allowing centre-back Michael Nelson to join Championship strugglers Scunthorpe United for an undisclosed fee and a two-and-a-half year deal. Nelson would have been a free agent in the summer.
Lambert said: 'Michael has been great for me since I've been here… the goal he scored against Charlton was a brilliant moment for everyone.
'But he is out of contract in the summer and the move to Scunthorpe not only offers him the prospect of regular games but also provides the security he is looking for at this stage of his career for himself and his young family.
'I want to say a big thank you to Michael from me and everyone at the club for what he has done for us, and wish him all the best.'
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As for Bennett, the 22-year-old – who had a transfer request turned down last week – was to be the final part of the City manager's jigsaw for the rest of the Championship campaign, and negotiations continued yesterday in an attempt to persuade the League One side to accept their offer.
Brighton manager Gus Poyet told The Argus that the Canaries made three bids for the winger: 'There were three. It was very, very difficult because it was quite a good offer, I would say a very good offer.'
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Asked if reports of a �1milion bid were accurate, Poyet said: 'They were getting close but it wasn't about how much, it was the way they did it, the way they pushed him. They really showed an interest which made it very, very difficult, so credit to the chairman.
Lambert – who had turned Leon Barnett's loan move from West Brom into a permanent deal at the start of the year – got two of his three January targets: striker Aaron Wilbraham came in from MK Dons while left-back Marc Tierney joined from Colchester United.
The only other business concluded yesterday was the extension of Owain Tudur Jones' one-month loan at League One side Brentford until the end of the season and unsettled Steven Smith's loan move to Scottish Premier League side Aberdeen for the same period.
Lambert had been hopeful yesterday morning, when he spoke to the media ahead of tonight's home game against Millwall, that he could bring in a new face, but insisted he would not break the bank.
'I won't bring somebody in here for the sake of bringing them in,' he said. 'I won't spend the money, I wouldn't do it, because I think it would be wrong of me to do it.
'If I have to go with the same lads then I don't have a problem with that because they're the ones that have put us in this position anyway.
'I have a great belief in them that they will give me everything they have got, but if I can do something and I think it is going to benefit us and benefit the team then I will.'
There is now a week's grace from the transfer speculation before the loan market opens.