Big guns on trail of keeper Joe

PUBLISHED: 06:00 29 February 2008 | UPDATED: 15:25 10 September 2010

Paddy Davitt

Norwich City could be in for a transfer windfall after reports that former keeper Joe Lewis is being chased by two of English football's biggest clubs.

Norwich City could be in for a transfer windfall after reports that former keeper Joe Lewis is being chased by two of English football's biggest clubs.

Manchester United and Liverpool are both said to be keeping an eye on Lewis' progress with Peterborough United after a string of stunning displays for the League Two club.

The 20-year-old, from Broome, left Norwich for Peterborough in a record-breaking £400,000 deal - plus an undisclosed sell-on clause - in January, despite never having started a first-team game for the Canaries.

But it's the sell-on clause that will interest City, especially with major clubs ready to pounce for a keeper said to be one of the most promising young players in the country.

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson - whose son, Darren, is manager at Peterborough - and Reds' chief executive Rick Parry were at Wrexham on Tuesday to see Lewis keep a clean sheet in Posh's 2-0 win. England Under-21 boss Stuart Pearce, who named Lewis in his squad for the European Championship qualifier against Republic of Ireland earlier this month, is also monitoring his progress.

Posh director of football Barry Fry said he was excited by the potential of the player, but insisted he was not for sale.

"Sir Alex has seen us a few times and I know he likes two or three of our players, but there is a big difference between liking and wanting to sign," said Fry. "He hasn't got enough money to buy Joe anyway!

"We are not interested in selling our players regardless of who is interested in them. We don't just want to get promoted this season, we want to go up and up and believe this squad can take us to the Championship.

"In all seriousness it is not a surprise if people are watching Joe.

"He will play for England Under-21s with his eyes closed and I'm certain he will go on to be a full international - that's why we paid so much to get him."

Lewis' departure from Carrow Road prompted plenty of debate among Canaries fans, who had seen a locally-produced player leave the club without making an appearance.

But City boss Glenn Roeder is blessed with an abundance of goalkeeping talent, with Scotland's number three David Marshall his first choice, plus back-up Matthew Gilks - and the likes of Steven Arnold, England Under-17s player Declan Rudd and England Under-16s' Jed Steer coming through the system.

Roeder banked £400,000 - the biggest outlay in Peterborough's history - in a move that gave Lewis the exposure that he never had at Norwich, although no one will ever know if City could have banked an ever bigger sum had the player stayed.

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