Hughes sold as City miss out on targets

Norwich City last night sold midfielder Andy Hughes to crisis-torn League One side Leeds United for a fee believed to be about £250,000. But City targets Darren Carter and Ryan Shawcross have signed with other clubs.

Norwich City last night sold midfielder Andy Hughes to crisis-torn League One side Leeds United for a fee believed to be about £250,000.

Hughes, who was signed by Nigel Worthington from Reading in July 2005 and made 69 appearances for the Canaries, has signed a two-year deal with the Yorkshire club, who were yesterday reeling after having a 15-point penalty upheld by the Football League.

The 29-year-old former Oldham and Notts County player was joined at Elland Road by former Celtic midfielder Alan Thompson, who was named as skipper after signing a one-year following his release by the Scottish champions at the end of last season.

Both players are expected to line up in the Leeds midfield in tomorrow's League One opener against Tranmere.


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City boss Peter Grant confirmed that Hughes would have struggled to make his own starting line-up this season.

“Andy did exceptionally well for us last season but with Jon Otsemobor coming in it was always going to be tough for him this season,” he said. “Leeds were able to offer him a longer deal which I didn't feel able to do. Andy is a fantastic person who we're sad to lose. His quality of character shone through last season and it was not right to stand in his way.”

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Meanwhile, City's hopes of signing West Brom midfielder Darren Carter in time for tomorrow's big kick-off were dashed when he signed for their opening day opponents Preston for a fee that could rise to £1.25m.

The 23-year-old former Birmingham man cost North End an initial £750,000 to become manager Paul Simpson's fourth summer signing and will be in line to make his debut against the Canaries at Deepdale.

He was not the only player to be linked with Norwich to find himself another Coca-Cola Championship club yesterday as Stoke have signed Manchester United youngster Ryan Shawcross on a six-month loan deal.

Defender Shawcross, 19, was rumoured to be a loan target of Grant's earlier in the week.

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