Norwich City told to raise the stakes in chase for Huddersfield Town’s Stuart Webber

PUBLISHED: 06:15 31 March 2017 | UPDATED: 08:21 31 March 2017

Huddersfield Town head of football operations Stuart Webber is in Norwich City's sights. Picture: Julian Hughes/Huddersfield Examiner

Huddersfield Town head of football operations Stuart Webber is in Norwich City's sights. Picture: Julian Hughes/Huddersfield Examiner

Archant

Norwich City must up the ante if they want to tempt Huddersfield to part with Stuart Webber.

The Terriers finally confirmed on Thursday their current head of football operations is a wanted man, with Webber ‘expressing a desire’ to leave in a terse official statement outlining he had been placed on garden leave.

Norwich City have targeted the 33-year-old to become the club’s new sporting director and are believed to be willing to trigger Webber’s compensation clause.

Huddersfield, however, aim to drive a harder bargain before sanctioning Webber’s potential early release from his notice period.

Town made it clear in their three-paragraph statement no agreement had yet been reached between the club, Webber and his prospective new employers.

They said: “In response to recent speculation in the media, Huddersfield Town can confirm that Head of Football Operations, Stuart Webber, has expressed a desire to leave the football club. As a result, Stuart has been placed on garden leave until the matter is resolved. Huddersfield Town will make no further comment on this situation until its conclusion.”

City head to Huddersfield next week in the Championship and the club’s top brass want a new sporting director and head coach in place by the start of a make-or-break summer for the Canaries.

Terriers’ head coach David Wagner has been touted with a similar vacancy at Carrow Road to replace Alex Neil, should Webber complete his switch, but the German remains focused on Huddersfield’s promotion push.

The third-placed Terriers have a game in hand on Brighton as they look to cut a six-point gap ahead of this weekend’s league game against Burton.

“I am not disappointed about this. It is football business. He made his decision,” he told Town’s Youtube channel on Thursday afternoon. “The club have made their position clear. Now it is up to the lawyers. It is important to show we are independent of what is going on around us.

“This will not affect us against Burton Albion on Saturday or in any of the last nine games. Our focus is on something much more important that Stuart Webber.”

Alan Irvine is poised to take charge of Norwich’s Championship trip to Aston Villa on Saturday as he continues in interim control, following Neil’s recent dismissal. The Scot has guided City to within five points of the play-off places and now looks increasingly likely to stay in charge until the end of the season.

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