Johansson loan deal is agreed

CHRIS WISE Norwich City are poised to clinch the signing of Charlton striker Jonatan Johansson on a loan deal.


Norwich City are poised to clinch the signing of Charlton striker Jonatan Johansson on a loan deal.

Manager Nigel Worthington has been a big admirer of the 30-year-old Finnish international for some time, and thrashed out a deal with the player last night.

It is believed there is still some paperwork to be completed, but the Canaries aren't expecting any last-minute hitches and there remains a possibility that Johansson will be registered in time to make his debut for the Canaries at league leaders Reading this evening.

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Worthington has been looking to strengthen his frontline ever since the £7.25million departure of Dean Ashton and will have been delighted to have started that process on the eve of transfer deadline day.

He had confirmed his interest in the Charlton striker earlier in the day when he declared: “Johansson is a player we have monitored for some time - but the scenario would need to be right for things to happen.”

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Work was clearly going on behind the scenes as Worthington addressed the press ahead of his side's daunting trip to the Madejski Stadium - and in the end he was able to make things happen, with the former Rangers striker agreeing to join the club for an as yet unspecified period on loan.

Johansson is best known in these parts for the two goals he scored for the Addicks against Norwich in last season's 4-0 victory at The Valley. Since then he has slipped down the pecking at the London club and has made just three starts this term, only one of which has come in the Premiership.

He hasn't appeared for the first team at all since a 5-2 home drubbing at the hands of Manchester City on December 12 and has been a regular for Charlton's reserve team, scoring in a 3-0 win at Carrow Road just before Christmas.

Johansson made his name at Rangers and Charlton boss Alan Curbishley paid a cool £3.75m for his services when he brought him south during the summer of 2000. His career record for Charlton reads 33 goals in 167 games while he has scored nine times in 43 outings for his country.

The fact that Worthington has done his first piece of business since the Ashton transfer on a temporary basis may come as something of a surprise, given the fact that he has some money to spend. But the manager explained to supporters that he had no intention of being held to ransom by clubs asking for exorbitant fees for their players.

“There is no point bringing in players to go sideways,” said W, who has alsso been linked with big-money moves for Cameron Jerrome Cardiff, Robert Earnshaw West Brom Gary McSheffrey Cov.

“You bring players in to try and take a club forward. We'll only bring players into this club when everything is right, it's as simple as that. When the right players are available at the right price then we will do it.

“We are looking for strikers but I haven't brought any one in yet because the prices are too expensive. That's a straightforward answer. What can I do?

“There's always a chance that a club might come back with a revised figure - but the ball is very much in their court. We have got to be shrewd and do the best possible business we can.”

Meanwhile the City boss has played down the chances of Tottenham defender Calum Davenport returning to Carrow Road on either a loan or a full-time basis after a successful spell with the club earlier in the season.

Worthington confirmed he had made an inquiry about the player, but said he had been put off by a high asking price.

“We made an enquiry about Calum but he wants a permanent move and the figure quoted by Spurs was very expensive,” he said. “We can't afford the figure they were asking for. That looks like a non-starter as we speak.”

As for a possible move for Colchester utility man Greg Halford, City are still believed to be interested in doing a deal - but the player himself might well want to stay put now that his club have a plum FA Cup fifth round tie against either Everton or Chelsea to look forward to.

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