Gibbs set for Royals family

David Cuffley Norwich City boss Glenn Roeder's hopes of re-signing Arsenal youngster Kieran Gibbs could be scuppered by Championship rivals Reading. The 18-year-old Gibbs made seven senior appearances in midfield for the Canaries last season after signing on loan in January, and Roeder is believed to be keen to bring him back to Carrow Road for a second spell.

David Cuffley

Norwich City boss Glenn Roeder's hopes of re-signing Arsenal youngster Kieran Gibbs could be scuppered by Championship rivals Reading.

The 18-year-old Gibbs made seven senior appearances in midfield for the Canaries last season after signing on loan in January, and Roeder is believed to be keen to bring him back to Carrow Road for a second spell.

But the Royals see the versatile England Under-19 international as a potential replacement at left-back for England international Nicky Shorey, who joined Aston Villa for £3m last week on a three-year deal.


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Boss Steve Coppell could be looking at a season-long loan deal for the young Gunner.

“It is important we get the right person in. Gibbs is the sort of player Arsenal will loan out,” Reading chief executive Nigel Howe told a national newspaper. “Signing a Premier League player for the season could be attractive to a club like ours.”

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Gibbs was an unused substitute for Arsenal in the 2-0 Champions League qualifying round victory over FC Twente last Wednesday, but manager Arsene Wenger is understood to be happy to let him leave the Emirates Stadium to gain regular first-team football - though he expressed some disquiet at the end of last season at his lack of games during three months with Norwich.

Coppell has used winger Stephen Hunt to fill Reading's vacant left-back role in their first two Championship games, a 0-0 draw at Nottingham Forest and a 2-0 win over Plymouth.

Coppell said: “Hunty has done terrific in the role. He's a good player and good players can play anywhere. It may be that he takes to it and it might be a continuing experiment.”

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