Baggies poised to launch bid for Taylor

Paddy Davitt West Brom are ready to hijack Norwich's bid to sign Birmingham's out-of-favour defender Martin Taylor. Baggies' boss Tony Mowbray is reportedly poised to launch a £1m raid for the 28-year-old to shore up a back line that has shipped nine goals in the last five matches.

Paddy Davitt

By PADDY DAVITT

West Brom are ready to hijack Norwich's bid to sign Birmingham's out-of-favour defender Martin Taylor.

Baggies' boss Tony Mowbray is reportedly poised to launch a £1m raid for the 28-year-old to shore up a back line that has shipped nine goals in the last five matches.


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Norwich's initial £750,000 offer was rejected by Blues' managing director Karren Brady after Taylor's successful Carrow Road loan spell expired in December.

Canaries' boss Glenn Roeder was confident of snatching Taylor ahead of next Thursday's January transfer deadline after big spending Championship rivals QPR cooled their interest.

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Roeder is in the market for defensive recruits after handing trials to Romanian international Valentin Illiev and Liverpool youngster Lee Peltier.

Birmingham boss Alex McLeish confirmed last month Taylor was surplus to requirements. The St Andrews' chief hinted he will offload the imposing centre back if he can bring in his own reinforcements.

Blues' have been strongly linked with Aston Villa's £4m-rated Gary Cahill and Lazio defender Guglielmo Stendardo in recent days.

Mowbray has identified Taylor as the man to bolster Albion's Championship title push after his side needed a late comeback to salvage a 3-3 home draw with Cardiff last weekend.

“It's not an over concern but there is room for work there and I am very aware that we lost two against Charlton and three against Cardiff,” he said. “Like anything in football, when you ask the team to play a certain way you leave certain areas vulnerable. I can set the team up to get some 0-0s but I don't particularly want to do that. I want to try to score some goals and entertain and be a team that wins matches by scoring goals.

“We do work hard on the training ground. I know it might look at times like we never do any defensive work but we do a lot of defensive work. That's why the frustration grows.”

McLeish has reportedly already had two firm bids rejected from his cross city rivals for England U21 defender Cahill. Villa chief Martin O'Neill insists Cahill will stay unless Birmingham match his valuation.

“Birmingham City, I can confirm, have made an offer but I have not accepted any of the offers because they do not meet the valuation,” he said. “I am not in a hurry to sell Gary but he doesn't want his career to remain stagnant and I can't guarantee him playing in our side immediately. But things can change.”

Meanwhile, long time Roeder target Shola Ameobi was yesterday set to be used as potential bait in Magpies' boss Kevin Keegan's bid to lure Jon Woodgate with a player-plus-cash deal from Teeside neighbours Middlesbrough.

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