Davenport remains on Grant’s wanted list

DAVID CUFFLEY West Ham defender Calum Davenport remains a wanted man at Carrow Road as City boss Peter Grant seeks to shore up the centre of defence.


West Ham defender Calum Davenport remains a wanted man at Carrow Road as City boss Peter Grant seeks to shore up the centre of defence.

Grant has admitted he is an admirer of the 24-year-old centre-half, who played 16 times for the Canaries during a loan spell from Tottenham two season ago, and with whom he worked at Upton Park.

With Dion Dublin suspended for two more games and skipper Jason Shackell starting a three-match ban when City visit Manchester City in the Carling Cup tonight, defensive resources are stretched to the limit.

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Davenport, yet to appear in the Hammers first team this season, is reported to have been made available for loan by manager Alan Curbishley - with national newspapers suggesting Norwich and Stoke head the queue.

Grant said: “I know Calum well and I was part of the group that brought him to West Ham. I know he did well when he was here.

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“He's always one you're interested in, of course he is, but Calum's been out with a double hernia, so he's only played a couple of reserve games recently.

“He's a good player but yet again, I went for a player last week who's played probably two first team games - it was £12,000 a week and a £300,000 loan fee until Christmas. So that's what we're up against.”

Grant suggested a loan deal for Davenport could cost at least that, or more, arguing: “It's probably more now because he went for £3.5m and he went for big money to Tottenham anyway.”

He said expensive loans were a luxury item for a club such as Norwich.

“It's all right for teams that have come down with £10m. They may be able to do that. It may be worth taking a gamble at it,” said Grant.

“I'm desperate to bring in better players but the best players cost you money. The board are desperate to help you, but I go in sometimes and it beggars belief to me that they're on this amount of money. I can't legislate for that at times because I'm thinking there's no way he's worth that.

“So it's not the board saying you can't get him. I'm just thinking to myself, no way is he worth that. And maybe that's something I have to change. Every manager tells me now it's the graveyard, the Championship.

“You wouldn't believe some of the wages I know that are getting paid in the Championship. Wages are getting paid to ordinary players that were being paid to someone who's scored 25 goals in the Premier League two or three seasons ago.”

He said City's results - four defeats in five Championship games - inevitably put him under pressure, but argued: “I'm under pressure all the time. If I'm winning games, I'm under pressure because I'm putting myself under that pressure. That's the way I am. I want to be sitting top of the league. I want to win every game. If I wasn't under pressure, I'd be disappointed because it means you've got no expectation.

“But you've got to be realistic as well. If you want the best players, you've got to pay the big money. I know the ones that would make a difference to us. Every player I went for is either in the Premier League or in the top three teams in the Championship.

“If you cannot get them you've got to try and make other things better.”

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