Worthy wants to splash the cash

PUBLISHED: 08:00 18 August 2006 | UPDATED: 09:34 14 September 2010

Nigel Worthington revealed yesterday that he was hoping to re-invest a good proportion of Robert Green's transfer fee in his squad - with a big striker still one of his main targets.

Nigel Worthington revealed yesterday that he was hoping to re-invest a good proportion of Robert Green's transfer fee in his squad - with a big striker still one of his main targets.

The precise details of the price paid by West Ham for the 26-year-old goalkeeper's services remain a closely guarded secret - all the Canaries are saying is that it could be worth as much as £2m to the club in the long term.

But it's clear that the Carrow Road coffers will be receiving a healthy boost in the not too distant future and the manager will clearly be expecting to have some of it to use as he sees fit, with a frontman as well as a new goalkeeper likely to be at the top of his list of priorities.

“I would like to be able to invest some of that money in the squad,” said Worthington. “But because the deal has just been completed I haven't had a chance yet to sit down with the board and see where we are at.

“I have got a good group of players together, and if we can tinker and add the right personnel to it then I'll do it. If I can't get the people I want then I won't do it.

“You are always working on it - it's an ongoing progress and never stops. You get a lot of nos, but occasionally you get the answers you want.

“I think a big striker is always useful. That's the reason we went for Steve Howard and Rob Hulse during the summer. They are big target men who are good players at this level.

“That is something we can keep looking at. Once the Premiership is up and running clubs will have established a team and a squad and might be looking to shift one or two people out that may or may not interest us.

“Having said that we are not in a major panic because, as a Championship club, there is always the loan option even when the transfer window closes at the end of the month.”

While a new striker would be a welcome bonus for Worthington a new goalkeeper is an absolute essential following the departure of Green. New No. 1 Paul Gallacher and 18-year-old Joe Lewis are now the only professional custodians at the club, and while the manager could always bring in a loan replacement in an emergency he knows it's a situation he will have to address sooner rather than later.

“If the right one becomes available, either on a loan or on a permanent deal, to give us a little more strength in that area then we would look at it,” he said. “Young Joe Lewis is doing very well, but, god forbid, should we have an injury that rules Paul out for a month, six weeks or so then it would be too big an ask for Joe to step in for that period of time.

“There is an emergency rule to bring in keepers at late notice, so short-term would not be a problem if we did get an injury. The major problem is finding one you want long term, who is available and can come in and do the job required.”

Worthington dismissed rumours that he was looking at Derby's England Under-21 international Lee Camp, who is currently down the pecking order at Pride Park - but revealed that he had had no shortage of offers this week.

“I have had about two dozens calls about goalkeepers since Robert's move was confirmed,” he said. “The agents all think they have got the best goalkeeper available. I could have signed them all - but, as I said, it's about getting the right man in.”

The Norwich boss was quick to pay tribute to Green as he looked ahead to a new goalkeeping era at Carrow Road.

“As a professional Robert was first-class,” he said. “He was dedicated to his job and was always extremely focused. He was a tremendous servant for Norwich City - and myself. That's something I would like to thank him for.

“He will certainly get his opportunity at West Ham and hopefully he can grasp it with both hands. He has got what he wants. He is back in the Premiership and now he has got to win a place in the first team and then move on from there.

“It could have happened 12 months ago. Robert has not hidden his desire to play at the highest level - and sooner rather than later from the point of view of his international career.

“I knew the scenario for a long time so I always had my eye on another keeper. Paul has come in and done well - and now it's up to him to keep doing well to keep the shirt.”

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