Scottish bargain buys lure Grant

CHRIS LAKEY Peter Grant says he gets better value for money shopping in Glasgow than he does in English cities - which is why he was able to unveil Ian Murray as his eighth summer signing yesterday.

CHRIS LAKEY

Peter Grant says he gets better value for money shopping in Glasgow than he does in English cities - which is why he was able to unveil Ian Murray as his eighth summer signing yesterday.

The 26-year-old has joined City from Rangers until the end of the season, taking Grant's number of signings from his Scottish homeland to four.

Scotland is clearly proving a happy hunting ground as far as Grant - and Norwich City's budget - is concerned.


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"The big thing is value for money for me now," he said. "You look at reserve team players in England - they're on phenomenal money for not playing any football. It just goes with the territory of getting promoted or being in that division, reserve team money is way above probably what some of the Celtic and Rangers first team players are getting.

"I'm thinking value for money - it's still top quality up in Scotland and you don't play for Celtic or Rangers if you're a mug."

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Grant's spending is not over, as he has "one or two" more targets to bring in before the transfer window shuts at the end of the month.

"I still think that is what I am looking for," he said. "What we have to do this year is sustain a challenge even when we lose players."

Murray could go straight into the team for today's game at Hull, although much depends on the fitness of Julien Brellier and Simon Lappin.

"He could start," said Grant. "It would be different if he hadn't been playing. He has been involved and has been involved with the European side of it as well, he played a reserves game the other day as well."

Grant's interest in Murray stretches back four years, when he was skipper of Hibs.

"His is a name that has always been at the forefront of our mind because one of the biggest strengths is that he can play in different positions and probably that ends up being his biggest weakness - because he can play in most positions the manager has moved him about more often than not," Grant said. "I remember him very closely in my mind when I saw him at Hibs as a young man, how he captained the side ever so well and showed great maturity, that got him his international call-ups and got him an opportunity to move to Rangers.

"At this level we have to have players with that adaptability within a certain system and he definitely gives us that.

"He is competitive, he wants to win, he wants to be a success. You put all those together and he ticks all the boxes I am looking for at this club."

City drove a hard bargain to get their man: Rangers would allow a short-term loan, City wanted longer; Rangers wanted a fee, City pointed out his contract was in its last year. In the end, Rangers agreed to free him from his contract and get him off the wage bill.

"I always feel when you are playing with Celtic or Rangers it is very, very difficult to leave those clubs," added Grant. "You are involved in Europe and you have a chance of playing in front of 50,000 or 60,000 week in, week out. It is a big, big pull to stay there - but once we made contact with Rangers and were given permission he was very, very keen to get here."

The initial deal is until the end of the season but could stretch beyond that.

"It is a challenge that is down to him as well - he wants to play at the highest level and we want to get there and it is something that gives us both time to have a good look at each other," Grant said. "Hopefully we can impress him enough that he wants to stay longer and he can impress us enough that hopefully we can give him something longer."

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