City loan keeper deal chances are boosted

Norwich City could be a step nearer to resolving their goalkeeping dilemma after Birmingham City snapped up England Under-21 star Joe Hart on a season-long loan at the weekend.

Norwich City could be a step nearer to resolving their goalkeeping dilemma after Birmingham City snapped up England Under-21 star Joe Hart on a season-long loan at the weekend.

The capture of Manchester City's Hart - currently on duty in the European Under-21 Championships in Sweden - means the Blues are more likely to be prepared to part with Republic of Ireland international 'keeper Colin Doyle.

The Canaries are reported to have asked if they can take 23-year-old Doyle on a season-long deal, and assistant manager Ian Butterworth confirmed last week the player was “on the radar”.

However, they may face competition from Championship club Swansea and League One rivals Leeds.


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After selling Scotland international David Marshall to Cardiff, City manager Bryan Gunn has a gap in his goalkeeping ranks.

England Under-19 squad member Declan Rudd is a candidate for the number two role, but at 18, is unlikely to be thrown in at the deep end as first choice, while the future of last season's reserve 'keeper, Stuart Nelson, remains unclear.

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Nelson, 27, still recovering from an ankle operation, is out of contract at the end of the month but City have yet to announce whether he will be offered a new deal.

Meanwhile, Shrewsbury manager Paul Simpson has stressed his determination to hold on to striker Grant Holt, reported to be another Norwich target.

Holt, 28, was top scorer in League Two last season with 20 goals and has two years left on his Shrewsbury contract after a �170,000 move from Nottingham Forest last summer. He is currently recovering from an ankle operation.

Simpson told Shrewsbury's official website: “Grant has been doing his rehab and receiving treatment and is very close to starting to jog.

“The plan is that he will be going to Lilleshall for some intensive rehab and will hopefully join the rest of the squad in the middle of July.

“There have been a number of rumours circulating about Grant leaving the club but I am still planning for Grant Holt to be wearing our number 16 shirt next season.

“We are in the fortunate position at this football club where financially we don't have to sell.”

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