Grant: We want to keep Etuhu

DAVID CUFFLEY City midfielder Dickson Etuhu was tipped to follow striker Robert Earnshaw to Derby as weekend transfer bulletins predicted a hectic week at Carrow Road.


City midfielder Dickson Etuhu was tipped to follow striker Robert Earnshaw to Derby as weekend transfer bulletins predicted a hectic week at Carrow Road.

Players' agents also claimed the Canaries were close to wrapping up the signing of Celtic goalkeeper David Marshall - as well as capturing Czech striker David Strihavka.

Derby boss Billy Davies sold 25-year-old Etuhu to the Canaries for £450,000 18 months ago when he was manager at Preston, but one national newspaper reported he was keen to add him to his Premiership squad, having already snapped up Earnshaw from Carrow Road for a club record £3.5m on Friday.

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City boss Peter Grant this morning said: “I'm not surprised at that. He's been top class for us but we want Dickson Etuhu here. He's a big part of my plans here.

“I think he proved that last season, the way he handled the critics and the way he has worked his socks off during the summer and I'm desperately hoping he stays part of that.”

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Meanwhile, City are reported to have negotiated a fee of close to £1m for Marshall with Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell.

Marshall played five matches on loan at Carrow Road last season before suffering an ankle injury, and have had at least one bid rejected by the Glasgow club, but manager Peter Grant insisted they would not give up their pursuit of the Scotland international.

“If Celtic manager Gordon Strachan gives the go-ahead, David will have a medical on Monday or Tuesday,” agent Willie McKay said at the weekend.

“He just wants to play regularly and, with Peter Grant, Jim Duffy and Bryan Gunn there, he won't be homesick.”

City have already signed one 'keeper this summer, with Matthew Gilks arriving from Rochdale on a Bosman free transfer last Wednesday.

Marshall, 22, slipped down the pecking order at Celtic under Strachan, behind Poland goalkeeper Artur Boruc, and has clearly been Grant's number one target for the role.

Strihavka's representative, Ondrej Chovanec, claimed it was “very likely” that his client would be joining the Canaries in the next couple of days.

Strihavka, a 6ft 3in striker from Banik Ostrava, is believed to have been spotted one of City's scouting missions to Eastern Europe.

Asked whether the Canaries were interested in his man, Chovanec told a Czech website: “You are right, but so far nothing has been signed.

“It is very likely that he will move there, though. Negotiations will continue in the next week as well. Norwich have been tracking David for a long time so they are aware of his qualities.

“And although Norwich are in the Championship they have the potential to be promoted to the Premiership.”

Strihavka has been a regular scorer for Ostrava during the past two seasons, helping them to sixth position in the Czech Premier League last term, 16 points behind champions Sparta Prague.

His form attracted the attention of Watford manager Adie Boothroyd, who invited him for a trial at Vicarage Road earlier on this year, but nothing came of it.

Reports that City were one of five clubs - along with Newcastle, Bolton, Celtic and Rangers - to have made an offer for highly-rated Holland Under-21 forward Maceo Rigters were not backed up by his club, however.

NAC Breda director of football Earnie Stewart insisted: “The only two offers have come from the English Premiership.”

Rigters scored four times as Holland retained their European Under-21 crown earlier this month.

Breda had hoped to negotiate a new contract but will now make him aware of the interest from Britain.

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