City play the waiting game for Croft

PUBLISHED: 13:23 27 July 2006 | UPDATED: 09:32 14 September 2010

Nearly 13 long weeks of waiting look set to end for Norwich City and their supporters - with manager Nigel Worthington quietly confident that Manchester City winger Lee Croft will become his first summer signing.

Nearly 13 long weeks of waiting look set to end for Norwich City and their supporters - with manager Nigel Worthington quietly confident that Manchester City winger Lee Croft will become his first summer signing.

The two clubs have agreed a fee of £600,000, with a further £100,000 to be paid if the Canaries win promotion to the Premiership.

Croft, 21, was in Norwich yesterday to look round the club, meet the management and undergo a medical.

He then returned north to discuss the move with his family.

Now, 88 days after the final match of the 2005-06 season, Worthington is at last set to add to his senior pool of players.

He said: “Lee's been down here to have a look at us, have a medical and then we'll get an answer. He went back last night to talk everything over with his family. It'll be the boy's decision as to what he'd like to do.

“I do know he's been very impressed but until we get pen on paper we'll remain cautious.

“It is like selling a house and buying a house. Until the contract is signed we will remain cautious and optimistic at the same time.

“We've done the best we can, so we'll see what happens. Whether it's today or Friday, I'll certainly be chasing the situation.”

Asked what the player could offer the Canaries, Worthington said: “Croft is a lively player who would give us extra options on the right - he's a good crosser of the ball, he's got pace and he works hard.”

Croft, 21, is an academy product of Manchester City, coming through the ranks with the likes of Joey Barton. The attacking midfielder looked like breaking through into the first team last season, and has made a total of 32 senior appearances, though all but four of them came from the bench. But with manager Stuart Pearce making five new signings, Croft's chances may be limited.

“There are one or two clubs who have been interested in Lee but Norwich are the ones who have come up with a fee we find acceptable,” said Pearce. “Lee has spoken to Norwich and now we are just waiting to hear whether he is going to leave or not.”

Croft's one senior goal for the Blues came against Fulham in the Premiership last season.

If he signs, it could solve a long-running problem position for Worthington, who has tried umpteen options in the attacking right-sided role over the past few seasons.

In two seasons since the out-of-favour Mark Rivers left Carrow Road, the role has gone to Mattias Jonson, David Bentley, Ian Henderson, Thomas Helveg, Graham Stuart, Dean Marney, Andy Hughes, Jonatan Johansson and occasionally Darren Huckerby. Hughes and Henderson played on the right last night.

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