Worthy - Clingan doesn't have to move on
David Cuffley Relegation with Norwich City will not damage Sammy Clingan's international prospects, Northern Ireland boss Nigel Worthington insisted today. But the Canaries' former manager expects the 25-year-old midfielder to become a wanted man this summer.
Relegation with Norwich City will not damage Sammy Clingan's international prospects, Northern Ireland boss Nigel Worthington insisted today.
But the Canaries' former manager expects the 25-year-old midfielder to become a wanted man this summer.
Clingan joined City on a Bosman free transfer last June from newly-promoted Nottingham Forest, only for his former team to stay in the Championship and his new club to drop into League One.
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With one year left on his Carrow Road contract, Clingan has already been tipped for a close season move after being the subject of a bid from Premier League club Fulham in January.
But Worthington says his international future is safe wherever he plays next season.
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“The situation with Sammy that he is a very important player to us, so the fact that Norwich are relegated wouldn't have any real bearing on picking him in the squad,” said Worthington.
“But in an ideal world, knowing Sammy, he will want to play at the highest possible level he can.
“Obviously he is a Norwich City player at this moment in time and until such time as that changes it is all ifs, buts and maybes.
“Whether he's at Norwich City or Manchester United or wherever, he will be part of our squad.”
City manager Bryan Gunn has not divulged which of his players wants to move on because of relegation, but he insists no one will leave on the cheap.
Worthington believes there will be no shortage of interest in Clingan, who made 43 senior appearances for City last season and scored six goals.
“I would be surprised if there weren't teams, shall we say, halfway up the Premiership already looking down at him, as well as teams in the Championship,” he said.
“He's a proven player in the Championship and he's had a good season and now he's having a well-deserved holiday.
“He's a player everybody knows now and one I like a lot.”
Clingan remains arguably City's most saleable asset.
“If Norwich have to weigh it all up, he is one player they could capitalise on,” said Worthington.
Northern Ireland have a friendly international against Italy in Pisa on June 6, but Clingan will not figure as Worthington plans to send mostly B team players and under-21s with just a sprinkling of seniors.