Canaries eye new hitman

PUBLISHED: 11:17 16 July 2008 | UPDATED: 15:39 10 September 2010

On the move: Peter Thompson is expected to play his final game for Linfield tonight. Photo: Newsletter Belfast

On the move: Peter Thompson is expected to play his final game for Linfield tonight. Photo: Newsletter Belfast

Michael Bailey

Norwich City are believed to be in pole position to land Linfield striker Peter Thompson after making contact with the Irish club. City boss Glenn Roeder has been linked with a swoop for the 24-year-old, who is expected to make his final appearance for Linfield in the first leg of their Champions League qualifier against Dynamo Zagreb this evening.

Norwich City are believed to be in pole position to land Linfield striker Peter Thompson after making contact with the Irish club.

Less than a month after the Canaries lost out in a last minute bid to bring Derry City winger Paddy McCourt to Carrow Road, City boss Glenn Roeder has been linked with a swoop for the 24-year-old, who is expected to make his final appearance for Linfield in the first leg of their Champions League qualifier against Dynamo Zagreb this evening .

Several clubs will be watching Thompson, who netted 44 times for the Irish side last season to help them take a third successive league and cup double, while Hibernian, Motherwell and Queens Park Rangers have been interested in the Northern Ireland international.

Kilmarnock have had two bids rejected, including a package worth £150,000 after various add-ons, while Stockport County's verbal bid of £100,000 up front earlier in the week has smoked out the Canaries as contenders to land Pistol Pete's signature.

Talks over a three-year contract between County and Linfield took place in Belfast on Monday, but with Norwich goalkeeping coach Tommy Wright having seen Thompson's abilities during his time as Ballymena manager last season, City are now favourites to give the striker his chance in England.

Although Linfield are looking to do business, chairman Jim Kerr has confirmed no decision on the player's future will be taken until after the club's Champions League match at Windsor Park tonight.

“Stockport's manager Jim Gannon, their chief executive and scout came over to see us,” Kerr said. “Figures were mentioned but as of yet no offer has been tabled. They expressed an interest but we are waiting to see any offer in writing before taking the matter further.

“No transfer deal has been completed for Peter Thompson and any possible move will not be considered until the Linfield management meets to discuss the matter after Wednesday's game with Zagreb.

“Peter Thompson is a signed and registered Linfield player who is available to play in Wednesday's European game and it has been made clear that any decision on the player's transfer will be taken with full approval of the board.”

Thompson, who has one year left on his current contract, has made seven appearances for Northern Ireland and scored his first goal against Georgia in March - one month after being linked with a move to City's Championship rivals Coventry.

The striker has 152 goals in 234 appearances at Windsor Park and recently said: “I will be 25 when my contract with Linfield expires, so I am not getting any younger.

”Of course every young player would love a move to full-time football across the water, but all I can do is knuckle down and focus on Linfield.”

Norwich fans not watching their side's first pre-season friendly against Gorleston tonight will be able to see Linfield's Champions League qualifier against the side from Croatia on Sky Sports One from 7.30pm.

Chairman Jim Kerr added: “I am led to believe Kilmarnock and Hibernian will be at the game, and we have been told Motherwell are visiting, but that is mere speculation.

“There may be a lot of speculation this week but all our focus is on our game with Dinamo Zagreb.”

Meanwhile rumours of an imminent move for Birmingham City's Cameron Jerome look a little premature, after the striker played 45 minutes for the Blues in their 7-0 over Kirchberg in Austria.

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