Leeds interest in Andy Hughes
DAVID CUFFLEY Leeds United are expected to step up their interest in Norwich City midfielder Andy Hughes - once they are allowed to start spending again.
Leeds United are expected to step up their interest in Norwich City midfielder Andy Hughes - once they are allowed to start spending again.
The 29-year-old Hughes has been linked with Yorkshire's fallen giants by more than one national newspaper, and manager Dennis Wise is understood to be genuinely interested in the former Reading man.
Leeds, relegated to League One at the end of last season, have been subjected to a transfer embargo since they entered administration on May 4. The restriction has prevented Wise from completing any new signings or offering fresh terms to out-of-contract players.
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The embargo will be lifted once the Football League approve the takeover completed by Ken Bates and Leeds United Football Club Limited, but that may leave Wise with as little as four weeks in which to conduct transfer business before the first match of the new season.
Stockport-born Hughes has one year left of his City contract. He has made 79 senior appearances in two seasons since his £500,000 move from the Madejski Stadium in the summer of 2005.
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After a difficult time at Carrow Road, he won over many of his critics in the second half of last season with some solid displays at right-back.
City boss Peter Grant said he was aware of reports of Leeds' interest in Hughes, but had not had direct contact from the Elland Road club.
He said: “We've had no contact with them. That's one story that's been flying about for some weeks, but I've had nothing official on that.”
If there was a bid, he said: “We'll make the decision, yes or no. If it was yes, it would be down to the player and Andy's a northern boy. But we've had no phonecalls.”
Bates has refused to say how much Leeds will have to spend, but a bid as high as £300,000 for Hughes, quoted in some reports, seems unlikely.
They can, however, raise funds through the sale of top players, with former Norwich loan striker David Healy expected to attract bids of about £1million. Fulham are at the front of the queue.