City link with ace Beckford
Michael Bailey The transfer merry-go-round looks set to shift up a gear in the coming weeks after Norwich City's Coca-Cola Championship competition for next season was confirmed during the weekend.
The transfer merry-go-round looks set to shift up a gear in the coming weeks after Norwich City's Coca-Cola Championship competition for next season was confirmed during the weekend.
With Hull City heading to the promised land of the Premier League after beating Bristol City in Saturday's Championship play-off final, and Doncaster Rovers completing their own promotion fairytale yesterday by pipping Leeds United to a place in English football's second tier, the plans of the winners and losers for next season start now.
And one name that could now come to the fore as far as Norwich fans are concerned is Leeds striker Jermaine Beckford.
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The 24-year-old striker was linked with a move to Carrow Road during last season and may have to look for a move to find Championship football after Leeds failed to take him there.
Beckford still has two years remaining on Elland Road contract, but having scored 20 goals in 49 appearances for United there is sure to be interest in the striker from several clubs - with the Canaries certainly in the hunt for more firepower after they hit only 49 goals in 46 Championship games last season.
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Another name to be linked with the Canaries in recent days has been Aberdeen's experienced midfielder Barry Nicholson, who helped the Dons to fourth place in the Scottish Premier League by beating Rangers 2-0 on the final day of the Scottish season last week, ending the Glasgow side's title dreams.
The 29-year-old Scot had made over 100 appearances for Aberdeen during his three years at Pittodrie, but reports over the weekend had City boss Glenn Roeder making a move to bring the Scottish international down to Carrow Road.
The Canaries' Championship rivals Plymouth, Preston North End and newly promoted Nottingham Forest are also said to be interest in the player, who began his career at this season's Uefa Cup finalists Rangers.
What is clear is that the wheels are already in motion to bring players in to Carrow Road, as confirmed by City's first team coach Paul Stephenson in Saturday's Evening News.
“We have been targeting players but it is up to the manager then to decide which ones he wants to pursue,” said Stephenson. “Glenn has been doing that and he has spoken to a few. I won't name names obviously but it is just a case of dealing with them and their representatives and seeing what transpires.”
Scunthorpe United striker Martin Paterson and Luton Town midfielder David Bell have already been strongly linked with moves to Norwich, while Blackpool due Wes Hoolahan and Kaspars Gorkss have also been mentioned as potential targets on Roeder's rebuilding radar.
However, as yet the only new arrival of the summer to date is former Northern Ireland international goalkeeper Tommy Wright, who was confirmed as the Canaries new goalkeeping coach last week.
The only member of City's current first team squad with a question mark hovering over his head is defender Gary Doherty, who has yet to sign a new contract at the club with his current deal set to expire at the end of June. The defender is still in negations over extending his stay at Carrow Road.