Waiting game for Norwich City boss Chris Hughton
Chris Hughton spent part of yesterday batting away fresh transfer speculation – but the Norwich City boss insists the Canaries will be ready to make a deadline day move if the right man comes along.
Brighton striker Craig Mackail-Smith was the latest striker added to a lengthening list that has previously included Michael Owen and Hannover hitman Mohammed Abdellaoue. Hughton downplayed reports of a firm bid for former City target Mackail-Smith and reiterated the club would not get embroiled in any last minute panic buying ahead of tonight's 11pm close.
'It works two ways. Clubs are looking for what they can bring in but also what they can let go. It is not the ideal scenario,' he said. 'I am the same as every manager and not just in this league. It is a fairly hectic series of phones calls and the large majority of those come to nothing. That is part of the process we have. We can't do anything about it and it doesn't make things any easier. We are continuing to say we want to be as competitive as we can be and that means going into these last days seeing if there is anything that is not only right, but suits us, then we will endeavour to do it. If it isn't and it doesn't happen then I am happy with the squad I have got.'
Scottish international Mackail-Smith opted for a switch to the south coast last summer despite confirmed interest from the Canaries. Hughton was keen not to fan the flames when quizzed over whether City's new regime were tracking the 28-year-old Seagulls' striker.
'Where we are is that there will always be speculation and rumours about numerous players,' he said. 'Everything we try to do we do it in the correct way –- certainly behind the scenes – and anything that is out in any domain at the moment is purely speculation. That is something you have to learn to cope with. There are a lot of players I admire and anyone I bring into this football club has to be the right player. I will be glad when this period is over. The same applies to every manager.
'I think it is a system that we could do without. If the window closed the first game of the season it would certainly change the dynamics of it and that is something everyone would have to get used to.
'But this is how it is. We have now had this for a few seasons. It doesn't change the madness of the last few days.
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'It is something you have to be able to cope with and work around.'
Hughton has already shown a willingness to tap into the better-priced continental market for Norwegian international midfielder Alexander Tettey and Spanish defender Javier Garrido.
'I think the value abroad is certainly cheaper,' he said. 'Of course a value is something you can only determine regarding how good a player is in your own opinion. What you have to make sure you do with players from abroad is that you have a good knowledge of the player.
'Over these few days lots of players and names will be thrown at you that you just don't know well enough.
'A player developed here you have a far better knowledge of, but in the ones we brought in with Tettey and Garrido we had very good knowledge of them.'
The City chief is also braced for potential deadline day enquiries for his own players, but Hughton has only considered potential loan moves for his younger stars. Tom Adeyemi joined Brentford earlier this week and the likes of Korey Smith and George Francomb are expected to follow suit in due course.
'You don't know what type of phone calls you are going to get over the next day or so,' he said.
'What I am though is very happy with the squad. If anything happens over the next 24 hours it will only be because it is the right decision.
'We have some very good young players that some seven days after this window closes will be available to perhaps go out on loan. It is certainly a good avenue for them to go out and get experience. The likes of George and Korey have done really well.
'I thought George, after an early mistake in the Scunthorpe game, positionally, on Tuesday night I thought played really well. He would be one we look to get out on loan, as well as Korey.'
Hughton confirmed yesterday the club had now received international clearance for Tettey and the midfielder will be in the squad that travels to Tottenham this weekend. Fellow new signing Mark Bunn will not feature after only completing his move from Blackburn to Carrow Road on Wednesday.