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Norwich Focus - Time running out to do business

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By Simon Wright

Thursday 31 January 2013

The clock is ticking on this transfer window, and while a lot of attention will be focused on panic buying from Arsenal, and the reports from Harry Redknapp’s car window at QPR, Norwich City need to strengthen or they could be sucked into a relegation battle.

Luciano Becchio

Improving results from the teams at the foot of the table mean Norwich could be drawn into a scramble that they surely weren’t expecting six weeks ago.

Manager Chris Hughton knows results are paramount. Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off at QPR is looking more pivotal with every passing day, as is the home clash with Fulham on February 9.

The Canaries need a goal scorer. There is no getting away from that and with the names mentioned throughout the month, supporters will be incredibly disappointed if someone doesn’t arrive to sign on with the club before the 11pm deadline on Thursday.

Number one target is Gary Hooper from SPL champions Celtic. Two bids have been publicly rebuffed already by Neil Lennon, and a third bid is expected before the transfer window slams shut.

This deal could happen, but with the temptation of staying in Glasgow to play Champions League football also a factor; you feel that Hughton might have now turned his desires elsewhere.

One player he looks set to miss out on is Danny Graham. Despite making a bid a fortnight ago, the boyhood Newcastle fan looks likely to either stay at Swansea or move to Sunderland.

Luciano Becchio is a name that has been mentioned of late. Becchio handed in a transfer request recently, and didn’t play in Leeds’s tremendous FA Cup victory over Tottenham at the weekend.

The 29-year-old has already scored 15 goals in an inconsistent side, so he is a goal scorer - but making the step up can sometimes overwhelm scoring talent from the lower leagues. Examples like Jason Scotland and David Nugent will want to forget their top flight experience in a hurry.

24-year-old Dutchman Ricky van Wolfswinkel is a target according to the Guardian. The Sporting Lisbon star would be a magnificent coup, and Sporting have little to play for, with them out of Europe and not a factor in the Portuguese title race. This might mean selling skipper Grant Holt though, and deadline day is all about strengthening the squad, not weakening it.

BBC Sport has reported an enquiry was made for striker Kei Kamara from Sporting Kansas City in the MLS. The Sierra Leone striker scored 11 times last season, and he could be a more realistic target before the deadline with Hughton confirming the deal was almost done after the 1-1 draw with Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the Daily Mirror has indicated a £3m bid is being lined up for Jamie Mackie. Norwich might be competing with Fulham for the 27-year-old, who at least works hard for the team, even if he isn’t a natural goal scorer. Mackie is surplus to requirements at QPR, especially if Redknapp can bring in Peter Crouch, Peter Odemwingie or both.

It is going to be a busy day across the country and for Norwich City, activity is required.

See what the expert tipsters are tipping on OLBG

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