Transfer raid double blow

David Cuffley Norwich City could suffer a second transfer setback in as many days - hot on the heels of winger Paddy McCourt's decision to join Celtic. Scunthorpe striker Martin Paterson, believed to be a long-term target of City boss Glenn Roeder, looks set to move elsewhere with reports suggesting Burnley are about to win the race for his signature.

David Cuffley

Norwich City could suffer a second transfer setback in as many days - hot on the heels of winger Paddy McCourt's decision to join Celtic.

The 24-year-old Northern Ireland international, who was understood to be the subject of a late bid by the Canaries, has agreed a three-year deal with the Scottish Premier League champions and will join up with Gordon Strachan's squad for the start of pre-season training.

And Scunthorpe striker Martin Paterson, believed to be a long-term target of City boss Glenn Roeder, looks set to move elsewhere with reports suggesting Burnley are about to win the race for his signature.


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Paterson has had a transfer request turned down by the Iron, but reports in the north-west claim the club are about to give in, paving the way for a move to Turf Moor. The key may be Burnley's imminent £3m sale of Kyle Lafferty to Rangers, which has improved the Clarets' hand after their initial £550,000 bid for Paterson was rejected.

The 21-year-old Paterson's goals failed to save Scunthorpe from relegation last season but he wants to stay in the Championship. City are believed to have had an offer for him turned down in January, with a figure of £850,000 mentioned in reports.

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Meanwhile, McCourt claimed he rejected the advances of "a few clubs" to join boyhood idols Celtic for an undisclosed fee.

Reports in Derry said the Canaries had matched West Bromwich Albion's offer of £150,000 for McCourt and topped the personal terms on offer at The Hawthorns, with the player out of contact in November and free to talk to other clubs.

But after Albion boss Tony Mowbray officially ended their interest yesterday, it was Celtic who got their man.

"I'm thrilled and it still hasn't quite sunk in yet to be honest," said McCourt last night. "This is a dream come true for me. There was interest from a few clubs but as soon as I found out that Celtic were in for me, my mind was made up.

"I have always been a Celtic supporter and there was only one choice to make. It's an honour to join one of the biggest clubs in the world.

"It's been a whirlwind 24 hours, but I'm just delighted to get everything sorted out. To sign for this club is a dream and when I get back home tonight, it might all finally sink in."

McCourt has previous City connections, having spent a week on trial at Norwich under Nigel Worthington in September 2003, when he was a 19-year-old at Rochdale.

Four years later, McCourt was all set to become a City player for Peter Grant in a £75,000 move, but the transfer folded after Grant's departure as manager last October.

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