Czech striker likely to sign - agent

CHRIS WISE Giant Czech striker David Strihavka and goalkeeper David Marshall are both on the verge of joining Norwich City - according to their agents.


Giant Czech striker David Strihavka and goalkeeper David Marshall are both on the verge of joining Norwich City - according to their agents.

City boss Peter Grant has money to spend after selling last season's top scorer Robert Earnshaw to Derby on Friday for £3.5m, and if weekend reports are to be believed he won't be letting it burn a hole in his pocket.

Strihavka's representative Ondrej Chovanec claimed it was "very likely" that his client would be joining the Canaries in the next couple of days while Willie McKay, who looks after Marshall's interests, said the player was poised to have a medical at Carrow Road.

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A move for the Celtic keeper, who had a spell on loan with Norwich last season, has been touted for much of the summer, but the name of Strihavka, a 6ft 3in frontman from Banik Ostrava, is a new one for the gossip columns, with one of City's scouting missions to Eastern Europe having apparently borne fruit.

When asked whether the Canaries were interested in his man, Chovanec told a Czech website: "You are right, but so far nothing has been signed.

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"It is very likely that he will move there, though. Negotiations will continue in the next week as well. Norwich have been tracking David for a long time so they are aware of his qualities.

"And although Norwich are in the Championship they have the potential to be promoted to the Premiership."

Strihavka was top scorer in the Czech Premier League last season with 13 goals in 28 appearances, helping his side to a sixth place finish, 16 points behind champions Sparta Prague.

His form attracted the attention of Watford manager Adie Boothroyd, who invited him for a trial at Vicarage Road earlier this year, but nothing came of it.

If the player's agent is to be believed, Grant has identified Strihavka, 24, as an ideal partner for new-boy Jamie Cureton, who rejoined the Canaries from Colchester on Friday as fellow goal machine Earnshaw was heading for the exit door.

Cureton flourished alongside a big frontman in the shape of Chris Iwelumo at Layer Road last term, so reports linking City with a 6ft 3in target man hardly come as surprise, even though the Czech will be something of a mystery man to most supporters.

That's certainly not the case with Celtic stopper Marshall, who played five games for City last season before an ankle injury cut short a loan spell at Carrow Road.

Ever since returning to Scotland he has been linked with a move back south and with current No.1 Artur Boruc set to stay in Scotland, he now looks likely to return to the Canaries on a full-time basis.

According to weekend reports a fee of around £1m has been agreed and Mackay revealed: "If Celtic manager Gordon Strachan gives the go-ahead, David will have a medical on Monday or Tuesday.

"He just wants to play regularly and, with Peter Grant, Jim Duffy and Bryan Gunn there, he won't be homesick."

Assuming the deal goes through, Marshall, 22, will have another battle on his hands for the first team jersey, with Grant having signed Rochdale keeper Matthew Gilks on a free transfer last week. He said at the time he was still chasing Marshall - and that chase looks set to bear fruit in the next couple of days, with fellow Scot Paul Gallacher falling further down the pecking order.

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