Redknapp to rescue for City?
PUBLISHED: 07:00 31 July 2008 | UPDATED: 15:40 10 September 2010
Canaries boss Glenn Roeder is ready to raid former boss Harry Redknapp's locker as he attempts to solve one of his remaining selection dilemmas. The Canaries manager is eager to bring in a big striker and reports on the south coast suggest he has been working on a deal with Redknapp to take one of the Portsmouth's manager's teenage hitmen.
Canaries boss Glenn Roeder is ready to raid former boss Harry Redknapp's locker as he attempts to solve one of his remaining selection dilemmas.
The Canaries manager is eager to bring in a big striker and reports on the south coast suggest he has been working on a deal with Redknapp to take one of the Portsmouth's manager's teenage hitmen.
Redknapp has Swiss Under-19 international striker Danijel Subotic on his books and is ready to offer a pro contract to Gambian free agent Omar Krumah after a two-week trial with Pompey.
However, Redknapp has already admitted Krumah isn't yet ready for the Premier League, while Subotic may struggle to find a way past the likes of Jermain Defoe, Peter Crouch, Kanu and David Nugent.
And that leaves a window of opportunity for Roeder, who said earlier this week he was close to wrapping up a deal for a “beautiful mover” who he had watched twice in pre-season.
Krumah fits the bill, although Redknapp says the 18-year-old has plenty of admirers.
“I have already had half a dozen clubs wanting to play him this season,” he said. “Most of them are from the Championship.
“He's not ready for the Premier League but he's still young so his time can come. OJ has done well, he's only 18 and I think he's a real prospect.
“We're hoping to now get something done and keep him here permanently because I like him.
“He was at Southampton last year. They wanted him but could not get a work permit but he's married now so that's no longer a problem.
“The lad was recommended to me so we had him over for the last couple of weeks and he's been tremendous. He's quick and has got a lot of everything.
“The kid wants to do well, he's willing to learn and hopefully he can do well here.”
Subotic, 19, has dual citizenship - Swiss and Bosnian - and joined Portsmouth from FC Basel last January.
And while he yet to play for the first team he impressed in the reserves towards the end of last season.
Roeder's connections with Redknapp, for whom he worked as a coach at West Ham, may well swing a deal in his favour, but the City boss is using City's Irish connections to tempt a teenage midfielder to uproot and head for Norfolk.
Philip Lowry, who plays for Institute in the IFA Premiership in Northern Ireland, has been invited to Carrow Road for a trial next week as Roeder puts his faith in youth again.
Roeder has always maintained that age is no barrier and has proved that by adding teenage loan players Ryan Bertrand and Elliot Omozusi to a squad that already contains a healthy contingent of home-grown youngsters.
The 18-year-old Lowry - who is currently involved in Northern Ireland's Milk Cup Elite squad campaign - is wanted by a host of leading sides from the eircom League of Ireland and the Irish League, but the lure of English football puts City in an advantageous position.
Lowry will be well known to Tommy Wright, who was manager of Ballymena last season, and City's chief scout Barry Hunter, a former Northern Ireland international.
The youngster is also said to be on Leicester's radar, and Institute manager John Gregg admits he is unable to compete.
“Obviously he's a major part of my plans for next season,” he said. “However, the chance to play full-time football with big clubs like Norwich and Leicester is a great opportunity for Philip.
“At the minute Philip is involved with Northern Ireland's Elite squad and their manager is Steve Beaglehole, who is Academy director at Leicester City and Northern Ireland Under-21 boss.
“But having spoke to Gerry Taggart (Leicester's reserve team manager), he still wants to bring Philip over for a week.
“Norwich also want to take Philip over for a week to have a look at him - obviously with Tommy Wright the goalkeeper coach at Carrow Road and Barry Hunter chief scout at Norwich they have been big players in the negotiations.
“I also know that a host of eircom League of Ireland and Irish League sides have also been in touch with me, about the availability of Philip.”