Grant's loan search goes on

CHRIS LAKEY Peter Grant's quest to bring in new blood at Carrow Road will continue today after a deal to bring in a loan player collapsed at the last minute.


Peter Grant's quest to bring in new blood at Carrow Road will continue today after a deal to bring in a loan player collapsed at the last minute.

The Canaries boss has refused to say who the player is, or even what his position is, but says he is hopefully of resurrecting a deal which he believed was done and dusted.

If the deal can be done in time, the player could feature at West Brom tomorrow - if not, Grant will resume work on the same deal next week.

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“I thought I had somebody in this morning, I thought that was all agreed near enough, and then the manager threw a spanner in the works at the last moment,” said Grant.

“But it is still on-going, it is still a possibility, it could still happen by the weekend so I am just waiting on a phone call.

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“It was an unusual one - everything was agreed and done to get the boy on loan then obviously he has looked, because he's playing him in the team at this moment in time, and he's thinking, 'how am I going to replace him?' because he's a good player, there's no doubt about that.

“We were on the phone all day yesterday fighting to and fro, finally got the answer I wanted, then late last night that answer was changed a little bit.

“I am still hoping it will go through, I spoke to him early this morning again and he is thinking about it again and hopefully he'll give me an answer. If not we'll still be looking to bring the same person in next week, even if I don't get him this weekend.”

Grant has more than one problem area but it's the right flank, where Lee Croft is sidelined for a month with an ankle problem, that is his biggest concern.

There was encouraging news regarding defenders Gary Doherty (back) and Craig Fleming (hamstring) yesterday, although both are ruled out of this weekend's trip to The Hawthorns.

Doherty will return to full training next week after returning to jogging work this week, and is likely to be fit for the trip to Ipswich, although that's still a game too far for Fleming.

What's certain is that Grant needs to strengthen a squad that only needs a bad run with injuries for its weaknesses to be exposed - but he says it's going to be a seller's market when the January transfer window opens.

“I know at West Ham it was even difficult to try and get players in there because so many clubs wouldn't do business in January,” he said. “It's probably somebody that's only in a squad of 24, never mind the 18 or the 16, but they are saying they won't let them out because if they get an injury it is a problem.

“That's a problem with the guys I've been on the phone to, when I look at the team sheet on a Saturday these players are probably not in the 18 but they won't let out. They see a difficult period coming up, a few games, and that's the problem with players we want to bring in.”

Grant also confirmed that he would be seeking to extend goalkeeper Jamie Ashdown's one-month loan deal from Portsmouth.

“I will be trying to extend it, he is desperate to stay,” said Grant. “Hopefully Harry (Redknapp) will allow us that because Harry was very cautious at first on letting him out because he sees him as number two behind (David) James but he just felt he needed games because he broke his finger. If I can extend Jamie's loan I will.”

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