Norwich City transfer latest: Canaries interested in Jérôme Onguéné; Dame N’Doye on striker list
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Alex Neil confirmed on Monday afternoon he is interested in French defender Jérôme Onguéné but made it clear a new striker is still his number one priority.
Onguéné was at Carrow Road on Saturday to watch the 0-0 Championship draw against Sheffield Wednesday but Neil insists the Sochaux centre-back and his advisors travelled to Norfolk for a fact-finding mission.
The Daily Mail reported on Monday afternoon City lead the chase for the £2.8m-rated teenager who was part of the French squad that won the U19 European Championship this summer, but Crystal Palace and Aston Villa have also made enquiries while Turkish side Trabzonspor had a bid rejected last month.
'He was over to see the stadium and things like that,' said Neil, speaking at his pre-match press call prior to Bristol City's visit on Tuesday night. 'There has been contact obviously but nothing to the stage we are going to be announcing anything. I have said before we want to freshen up the squad and get younger bodies in. it is not easy to do.'
Former Sunderland loan striker Dame N'Doye has been touted with a potential loan move from Turkish football, but Neil is in the market for a permanent recruit after missing out on the likes of Steven Fletcher and Ross McCormack this summer.
'Nothing to report at the moment but that is our main focus, our main priority so the fact a defender has been mentioned I can assure everybody strikers are the main priority,' he said. 'We are doing as much as we can behind-the-scenes. He (N'Doye) is one that has been mentioned, as have about another 500 that we have spoken about and looked through. He is a name who is out there but that is the extent of it. In terms of loans generally you wouldn't rule then out. It is always something you have to have on the table but we would much rather have a permanent deal so whoever we sign is our player.'
Neil's immediate priority is dealing with a mounting injury crisis for the Robins' visit.
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John Ruddy and Martin Olsson will definitely miss out against Bristol City and the duo are also set to miss this weekend's East Anglian derby,pending the result of scans on Ruddy's groin and Olsson's hamstring injuries.
The duo were forced to depart early during Saturday's 0-0 home opener against the Owls. Graham Dorrans (groin) and Jacob Murphy (hamstring) are also set to miss the Robins' test.
'They are progressing and getting better, I'm not sure they will make this game though,' said Neil. 'Jacob had some issues with his hamstring after the Blackburn game and unfortunately it's not settled down quickly enough.
'We've had scans done (on Ruddy and Olsson) and we should get the results of them soon. I doubt they will be available for tomorrow's game. I don't think it will a long-term problem for either, I think it will be a couple of weeks and nothing more than that.'
Summer signing Alex Pritchard (muscular injury) is also poised to miss the midweek game.