Grant refuses to rule out Sutton return

Chris Sutton could yet become a Norwich City player after Canaries boss Peter Grant refused to rule out the possibility of bringing the striker back to Carrow Road.


Chris Sutton could yet become a Norwich City player after Canaries boss Peter Grant refused to rule out the possibility of bringing the striker back to Carrow Road.

The 34-year-old has been touted for a return to his Norfolk roots for some time, although the biggest opportunity appeared to have passed last September when former manager Nigel Worthington refused to contemplate a deal - and instead brought in Dion Dublin, a player four years Sutton's senior.

“I would certainly always be interested if Chris Sutton became available - I was very surprised Norwich didn't take him last year,” admitted Grant.

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Dublin went on to become a crowd favourite last season and signed a one-year extension this week - but Grant insists that wouldn't stop him looking at Sutton, who left City for Blackburn in a then British record £5m transfer deal in 1994.

“No way,” he said last night. “I have always said that Chris Sutton is someone I would be interested in. It doesn't matter whether we have Dion Dublin here as well or not.

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“I like to see young players come through into my teams, but I love experience as well - you could see that we were missing it last season when we didn't have the experience to go on and win some games.”

“I saw him play for Celtic and then for Aston Villa and he is definitely someone I would be interested in.”

Sutton has a home in north Norfolk and played cricket for Sheringham last weekend, but his future plans are in the balance following five months on the sidelines with an eye injury.

He has been suffering from blurred vision in one eye after a clash with Manchester United's Nemanja Vidic in December and has been unable to get any guarantees that his sight will not worsen if the same were to happen again - but is said to be reluctant to bring his 16-year career - which began at Carrow Road in 1991 - to an end.

Grant has yet to make his first foray into the summer transfer market, with Jon Otsemobor's move from Crewe to Norwich not yet complete, despite reports yesterday.

“I want three or four signings and if can get those I will be reasonably happy,” he said. “We really need competition for places and the better quality of player I have the better our chances of being successful.”

The rumour mill continues unabated, with Grant linked yesterday to more interests north of the border, with Dunfermline's Ivory Coast defender Souleymane Bamba and Airdrie midfielder Stephen McDougall reportedly on his radar.

Bamba, who will reluctantly leave Dunfermline after today's Scottish Cup final, is also interesting Southampton and clearly believes he can follow the likes of countrymen Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou and become established in England.

“I'm thinking about it but the best solution would definitely be to leave. My aim is to stay in Britain. Plenty of people tell me that I can progress in England and in the national team.”

The 21-year-old McDougall, who started his career at Glasgow Rangers, was linked with Hibernian, St Mirren and Falkirk during the January transfer window - and manager Kenny Black said at the time it would take an “outrageous” offer will prise McDougall away.

However, Airdrie were relegated from the Scottish Division One a fortnight ago and McDougall - whose contract expires at the end of next season - may not be too happy at the prospect of Division Two football.

Two other reported targets moved on yesterday - neither to Carrow Road.

Cardiff signed out-of-contract Plymouth midfielder Tony Capaldi, whose list of suitors was said to have included Norwich, as well as Wolves and Sunderland.

St Johnstone striker Jason Scotland signed for Swansea City, who were said to have fended off competition from a number of English and Scottish Premier League clubs to sign the St Johnstone and Trinidad & Tobago frontman.

Meanwhile, Scunthorpe are also attempting to sign Martin Woods, the Rotherham United midfielder, who is a target for Norwich.

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