Worthy targets Clarke

Nigel Worthington has confirmed his interest in West Ham utility player Clive Clarke. The 26-year-old Republic of Ireland international has failed to make an impact for Hammers since his £275,000 switch from Stoke last year, with injuries and the good form of others restricting him to just three appearances.

By CHRIS WISE

Norwich City manager Nigel Worthington has confirmed his interest in West Ham utility player Clive Clarke.

The 26-year-old Republic of Ireland international has failed to make an impact for Hammers since his £275,000 switch from Stoke last year, with injuries and the good form of others restricting him to just three appearances.

With Alan Pardew set to reshuffle his squad during the summer for the big challenges that lie ahead in the Premiership and UEFA Cup there is a good chance that Clarke will be made available for transfer - and Worthington revealed yesterday that he had already contacted his opposite number about the versatile Dubliner.


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“Clive Clarke is a player we like,” said the City boss, who is in the market for a left-sided operator or two following the recent exits of Jim Brennan and Simon Charlton.

“We are looking for extra numbers in certain areas and he is someone who can play at left-back and can also do a good job on the left-hand side of midfield.

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“We have made an inquiry about him but that is as far as it has gone at the moment. We'll just have to be patient and see what happens on that one.”

Clarke can also play at right back, as he proved when helping the Hammers to a famous victory over Arsenal at Highbury in February, so he would also provide competition for the likes of Craig Fleming and Jurgen Colin if he joined the Canaries.

If previous summers are anything to go by the Canaries won't be unveiling any new players until late June at the very earliest but Worthington hopes a lack of announcements won't be interpreted as a lack of action by the club's fans.

“It's a time when a lot of people in football are taking their holidays, myself included, but there is still a lot of work going on behind the scenes,” he explained. “We have identified a number of players who would strengthen our squad and it's a case of putting in the phone calls and seeing what the situation is. It's question of adding everything up - the transfer fees, the salaries, whether clubs are prepared to let certain people go out on loan, and such-like - and then seeing if something can be sorted out.

“These things take time and, as I said, it's case of everyone being patient. You never say never in football so I wouldn't rule out the possibility of something happening soon. But I should imagine it will be a little while yet before we are in position to announce any new arrivals.”

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