Gallacher to Aberdeen?

CHRIS WISE Norwich City goalkeeper Paul Gallacher will be on his way to Aberdeen at the end of the season if sources north of the border are to believed.


Norwich City goalkeeper Paul Gallacher will be on his way to Aberdeen at the end of the season if sources north of the border are to believed.

The Dons will be losing the services of Scotland international Ryan Esson at the end of the campaign and have already started the search for a new keeper to challenge current No. 1 Jamie Langfield for a place in the starting line-up.

Gallacher is believed to be their prime target, and a report in the Aberdeen Press and Journal claimed that manager Jimmy Calderwood was hoping to tie up a deal before the summer break.

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The Scottish keeper, who has been deputising for the injured Robert Green in recent weeks, will be out of contract at the end of June and has to decide whether to fight for his place at Carrow Road - or head back north in search of first team football.

It's clearly a tricky decision for a man who had to wait nearly two years for his big chance with the Canaries - and manager Nigel Worthington has no intention of putting any pressure on the player ahead of a possible swansong against Wolves tomorrow.

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“Talks are still ongoing,” he said. “Paul has got to make a decision and the club have got to make a decision as well.

“His contract finishes on June 31. From both points of view it would be nice to get it tidied up before we all disappear. But these things do take a little of bit of time and patience.

“I should imagine other clubs will be showing an interest. He is out of contract soon and he is quite entitled to talk to Scottish clubs should he wish to. You can do that in the last six months so it's just a case of seeing what happens.”

In different circumstances Gallacher might not have been handed another chance to impress at the weekend. Green has now recovered from the sprained ankle that ruled him of City's previous three games, but Worthington has no intention of jeopardising his World Cup chances by bringing him back too soon.

“It would be a risk for him if he played on Sunday and that is not a risk I am prepared to take - so Paul will play again,” said the City boss.

Gallacher's future is one of a number of loose ends Worthington will have to tidy up once the Wolves game is out of the way. The City boss will also have to decide whether or not to offer on-loan Charlton man Jonatan Johansson a contract - and whether to let Jason Jarrett join Preston on a permanent basis following the completion of a temporary move to Deepdale.

Johansson has only been featuring as a substitute in recent weeks, while Jarrett rarely impressed in his 15 games for the club, so it would be a something of a surprise if either man was playing for Norwich next season - but the City manager was offering few clues as to their future yesterday.

“Jonatan is out of contract and we will speak to him at the end of the season,” he said.

“Jason is currently on loan at Preston and until further negotiations that remains the situation. It will be discussed again at the end of May when the play-offs have finished.”

Worthington was happy to confirm that Craig Fleming would replace Jason Shackell - who has just had a minor ankle operation - in the heart of the Norwich defence tomorrow and that Leon McKenzie would be back in contention for a place in the starting line-up after missing three matches with a hip injury.

“Craig will go in at centre half - and there are a number of candidates to play at right-back,” he said. “Leon trained for the first time on Tuesday after a lengthy lay-off and he will be in the squad.”

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