Worthy renews bid for Hulse

CHRIS LAKEY Canaries boss Nigel Worthington has renewed his attempts to bring striker Rob Hulse to Carrow Road.


Canaries boss Nigel Worthington has renewed his attempts to bring striker Rob Hulse to Carrow Road.

Worthington has long been an admirer of the Leeds frontman and confirmed yesterday that an approach had been made to the Yorkshire club.

“Rob is a player we have inquired about,” said Worthington. “We would like to try to bring him to the club but we have to wait and see at the moment.

“People are away at the moment and we have to see whether we can agree terms and that type of thing - there are a lot of questions to be answered on that one still.”

Worthington is clearly looking to increase his attacking options next season and fancies a little and large pairing of 6ft 1in Hulse with 5ft 8in Robert Earnshaw.

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“I like Rob a lot and I think he is very good at this level,” said Worthington. “Linking him with Rob Earnshaw would be a nice pairing if we could make it happen.

“We have made an inquiry to Leeds and that is where we are at - we don't know whether Leeds will let him go.”

Hulse comes from the same footballing background as former Canaries striker Dean Ashton, having emerged through Dario Gradi's Crewe Academy. He scored 45 goals in 97 league starts, most of them alongside Ashton, for Crewe.

That scoring record prompted Worthington to make a move in the summer of 2003, but Hulse opted for a move to West Bromwich Albion, then managed by Gary Megson.

And while he helped the Baggies go up alongside champions Norwich, he never quite made his mark when Bryan Robson took over for the Premiership campaign and in February, 2005, was loaned out to Leeds, who then invested a little over £1m to make the move permanent.

One stumbling block for Worthington could be the price tag, with Leeds likely to want to recoup a fair chunk of that six-figure fee for the 26-year-old, who scored 14 goals as the Yorkshiremen reached the play-off final but then succumbed to Watford at the Millennium Stadium.

Another is the prospect of other clubs coming in for Hulse, with Sheffield United boss Neil Warnock having reportedly made a similar inquiry to Leeds although, like Norwich, they have yet to make a firm offer.

Leeds boss Blackwell also has the likes of Richard Cresswell, David Healy and Robbie Blake in his squad and has already admitted he will wheel and deal this summer, although he has refused to comment on individual players.

In an ideal world, Worthington would want any deals signed, sealed at delivered by the time his squad return to the Colney training centre on Monday - but admits that is unlikely.

“As I speak I can't see it happening,” he said. “Everybody is looking forward with optimism as always and there's a lot of work ongoing behind the scenes and hopefully, in a couple of weeks, this work will bear some fruit and we will have some new faces.”