Hoolahan in, Gilks out

Blackpool winger Wes Hoolahan is to join Norwich City for an undisclosed fee, it was confirmed today, with City goalkeeper Matthew Gilks joining the Lancashire club as part of the deal.

Blackpool winger Wes Hoolahan is to join Norwich City for an undisclosed fee, it was confirmed today, with City goalkeeper Matthew Gilks joining the Lancashire club as part of the deal.

Speaking exclusively to the club's official website, Hoolahan said: "I am delighted to be joining Norwich City. I had several options but as soon as I met the manager and saw the facilities, I knew Norwich City were a club that matched my ambitions. I want to play Premier League football as soon as possible and I feel that this move will give me that opportunity. Norwich City have a fantastic fanbase and play the type of football that suits my game."

On capturing Hoolahan, Roeder told www.canaries.co.uk: "I've been following the progress of Wes since I first saw him in our away game at Bloomfield Road. I felt he was a threat to us throughout the match, even though we won the game. When he played for Blackpool at Carrow Road, he was the outstanding player on the pitch - everytime he got the ball he threatened. We've been looking at him now for around 5 or 6 months and I can't tell you you how pleased I am to secure his signature. He can thread a ball through the eye of a needle and I am sure our fans will love him."

Hoolahan has been linked with City since the end of last season after manager Glenn Roeder admitted he was an admirer of the tricky left-winger - and he is reported to be arriving Norwich on a three-year contract.


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The 26-year-old made his Republic of Ireland debut last month against Colombia after impressing national team boss Giovanni Trapattoni at a training camp in Portugal.

Dublin-born Hoolahan's move from Livingston to Blackpool last year was dogged by controversy with a dispute between the two clubs being referred to FIFA.

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But he is understood to have had a release clause in his Blackpool contract, allowing him to move for £250,000.

Gilks, 26, failed to make a first team appearance for the Canaries last season after arriving from Rochdale on a free transfer a year ago and signing a two-year contract. He played eight reserve games but now appears to be on his way back to his native north-west.

On saying farewell to Gilks, Roeder said: "Matty leaves us after one season. I felt that with him being an experienced goalkeeper, he needed to get back to playing first team football. With the excellent young keepers we have at the club now, including David Marshall, I couldn't see Matt playing too much football here and I felt it was the right thing to let him go."

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