Norwich City boss Chris Hughton will not be forced into panic buys

Newcastle United's Steven Taylor is one of the centre backs linked with Norwich City. Picture: Owen

Newcastle United's Steven Taylor is one of the centre backs linked with Norwich City. Picture: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire. - Credit: PA

Chris Hughton insists Norwich City will cope if they fail to bolster their central defence in the closing days of the January transfer window.

The Canaries' chief on Monday dismissed reports of a bid for Blackburn's Scott Dann but would not be drawn on links to Lazio's Michael Ciani and Newcastle's Steven Taylor, ahead of facing Taylor's Magpies tonight in the Premier League. Hughton's decision to sanction Dani Ayala's permanent move to Middlesbrough, allied to Michael Turner's on-going hamstring injury, leaves him with only two fit senior central defenders in Seb Bassong and Ryan Bennett.

'I wouldn't say a centre back is a priority. We have options with Russell Martin who can play in that position but we are looking,' said Hughton. 'Do I see a lot of players coming in before Friday? No, I don't, but we would certainly like to add. We are trying to make ourselves as active as possible. There will always be names that are bandied around. The majority I can assure you have no substance. Some will be because of agents asking questions or putting names to us. I want to deal in fact and we have not made a bid for Scott Dann.

'Steven Taylor is one I can understand being linked with because of my previous connections to the player, but regarding him (Ciani), again, that would be part of the rumour mill. Of course we make phone calls and enquiries to see if players are available and amongst all that there is speculation.'

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