What a Brummer! Taylor deal collapses

DAVID CUFFLEY City boss Glenn Roeder today put on a brave face as he confirmed that defender Martin Taylor would not be returning to Carrow Road, admitting: “The deal just wasn't viable.


City boss Glenn Roeder today put on a brave face as he confirmed that defender Martin Taylor would not be returning to Carrow Road, admitting: “The deal just wasn't viable.”

The Canaries were desperate to extend centre-half Taylor's loan from Birmingham City - which expired after Saturday's 1-0 victory over Sheffield United - with a view to a permanent signing in the January transfer window.

But Roeder had to reluctantly admit defeat when the two clubs failed to reach agreement last night.

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He also said it was “unlikely” the move could be revived in the new year, following what he described as “very difficult” talks with Birmingham.

The news will come as a bitter blow to supporters who voted Taylor player of the month for November after a string of impressive displays and saw him as a key figure in their team's dramatic revival under the new manager.

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“We won't be getting him. He's not signing and we have got to get on without Martin Taylor,” said Roeder.

“He's done his bit, he's been fantastic but we couldn't do a deal.”

Taylor, 28, has been in commanding form, featuring in all eight games under Roeder, scoring twice and playing a major part in City's move out of the bottom three of the Coca-Cola Championship.

A loan extension had to be agreed by last night for Taylor to return for the rest of December, but it appears a longer loan was conditional on agreeing a fee for a permanent deal.

Setting up such a deal would have been the perfect birthday present for Roeder, who was 52 yesterday, but he said Birmingham's managing director would not budge on the asking price.

The Blues are understood to have agreed a fee with Queen's Park Rangers for Taylor, reported by some sources as £1m.

Said Roeder: “Karren Brady says they've accepted an offer from QPR, but it's a worthless offer because the player has said he doesn't want to go to QPR.

“She wouldn't negotiate on the price.

“As far as I'm aware, there is no club other than QPR involved. Martin wants to come here and is really disappointed that Birmingham wouldn't negotiate.

“The deal wasn't viable - there's no question of that. Birmingham have been very difficult.”

Roeder praised Norwich's directors for backing his efforts to land Taylor.

He said: “The board have bent over backwards to help me. A lot of managers won't have any money to spend in January so the fact that we have some money is very encouraging.

“The deal was always going to be very expensive and we need more than one player in January.

“We need more quality in this squad. Matty Pattison's done very well and we have to make a decision on him.”

Birmingham confirmed yesterday that Taylor had returned to the Midlands, but manager Alex McLeish said he was surplus to requirements despite having two and a half years left on his current contract.

“I've spoken to Martin and he's down the pecking order,” said McLeish. “I've said that if the right club comes in for him it will be time for him to move on. He's done well for Norwich and Martin's performances have helped them climb up off the bottom of the table. There are one or two interested in Martin and his agent and Martin himself are weighing those up.”

Taylor's absence means a likely recall for Gary Doherty to the centre of defence for tomorrow's Championship match against Colchester at Layer Road (5.20pm) as City bid for their fifth wins in six games. Doherty was serving a one-match suspension for the Sheffield United match.

Another option would be to play Dion Dublin in defence, but Roeder has so far preferred to use the veteran in attack.

Midfielder Darel Russell is also available again after a one-match ban.

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