THE prospect of Norwich City meeting Celtic’s valuation of Gary Hooper appeared to fade a little last night when Canaries manager Chris Hughton insisted his club will not break the bank to bolster their squad.
As well as making a move for Swansea City striker Danny Graham, Norwich have lodged a bid for Hooper, with a second improved offer on what is understood to have been a £5 million deal knocked back by Celtic earlier this week. Neil Lennon said it was “nowhere near” the SPL champions’ valuation.
Norwich have not won in the Barclays Premier League since beating Wigan on 15 December and, following their 5-0 mauling at Liverpool, have now lost five of the last six as they start to look anxiously over their shoulders on the battle at the wrong end of the table.
Bottom club QPR shelled out some £8 million to bring in French striker Loic Remy to bolster their survival bid, while struggling Newcastle have also brought in a couple of reinforcements. But Hughton accepts Norwich will have to look for value for money in any transfers they are able to complete over the next seven days.
“That is where they are and what they are able to do and a group of clubs can do that,” Hughton said in reference to QPR and Newcastle’s big-money swoops. “We have to do things our way. It is never that easy, but we will keep going right the way through.
“It is something that we want to do, but perhaps people don’t understand how difficult it is.”
It had been reported Norwich captain Grant Holt could be offered to Celtic as a makeweight to help push through a deal for Hooper. But the Norfolk club’s chief executive David McNally ruled out any talk of such a compromise. He wrote on Twitter: “In response to (lots) of earlier messages, none of our senior players are for sale and won’t be included in any player swaps.”