City to swoop for Celtic keeper Marshall

JONATHAN REDHEAD Norwich City are on the verge of signing Scottish international goalkeeper David Marshall after his agent revealed the 21-year-old is “very keen” to come to Carrow Road.


Norwich City are on the verge of signing Scottish international goalkeeper David Marshall after his agent revealed the 21-year-old is “very keen” to come to Carrow Road.

The Celtic stopper has had limited opportunities at Parkhead since making his debut in the Scottish Cup at just 17, and is currently number two in the Hoops' pecking order behind Pole Artur Boruc.

But after interest from City manager Peter Grant, Marshall now looks set for a move to Norfolk on loan, with a view to a permanent deal at the end of the season. Now, Grant must wait on the outcome of a meeting between Marshall, his agent Willie McKay and Celtic boss Gordon Strachan tom-orrow to see if the deal can go ahead. Mars-hall is hoping Stra-chan will sanction a move south, despite a busy fixture list in the Scottish Premier League, Scottish Cup and the Champions League where Celtic have qualified for the second stage for the first time and face Italian giants AC Milan next month.

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However, McKay, the controversial agent who refused to co-operate in Lord Stevens' “bungs” inquiry, also represents Joey Barton, Pascal Chimbonda, Henri Camara and Nicolas Anelka and is hopeful the deal will go ahead.

“David is very interested in coming down,” McKay said. “We're now just hoping that Celtic are going to allow him to come on loan.

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“The problem might be the Champions League games coming up and who they put on the bench.

“Peter Grant has been in touch with Gordon Strachan. It would be a loan with an option for a transfer.

“David Marshall is very keen to go to Norwich.”

Marshall joined Celtic as a trainee and has made a total of 50 appearances for the club since 2002. He has also played twice for the Scottish national team, in 2004, but the matches were not a triumph for the 'keeper as Scotland lost 3-0 and 4-1 at home to Hungary and Sweden respectively.

The 6ft 3ins custodian first made his name as a teenager in two UEFA Cup clashes against Barcelona in 2004 in his first starts when he kept two clean sheets and was named man of the match after a string of fabulous saves in both legs as Celtic went through to the competition's semi-finals.

The following year he was at it again, saving a Ronaldinho penalty although Barcelona gained revenge in the Champions League.

Since then, chances have been few and far between for the Glaswegian, who has made just two appearances this season and has previously spoken about his need to find first team football.

It's believed that Grant has been a long time admirer of Marshall and his former club, West Ham made enquiries about the young 'keeper while he was assistant manager at Upton Park.

However, one City target and another McKay client who looks increasingly unlikely to move from Celtic to Carrow Road is attacking midfielder Stephen Pearson, after the agent claimed the Canaries had a bid rebuffed by the Hoops.

The former Motherwell man had been attracting interest from City and Sunderland Norwich, but the Scottish giants accepted a transfer bid from Derby County, believed to be in the region of £750,000.

But McKay, said although the 24-year-old has not yet been able to agree personal terms with Derby, a deal is still likely to happen in the next few days.

“Stephen Pearson is another one Peter Grant has been speaking to Gordon Strachan about,” McKay said. “But it looks as if he's going to Derby. They've been after him for a long, long time.”

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