Another twist in Huckerby saga

DARREN Huckerby looks increasingly unlikely to play against Ipswich Town on Sunday after his transfer saga took another twist last night, writes Derek Davis.

DARREN Huckerby looks increasingly unlikely to play against Ipswich Town on Sunday after his transfer saga took another twist last night, writes Derek Davis.

Paul Smith, the forward's agent, suggested Huckerby was in no hurry to leave Manchester City as he wanted one last chance to make Kevin Keegan's line-up.

Smith believes Huckerby would not leave until after the January transfer window opens in order to prove himself and give Premiership clubs the chance to make an offer.

Keegan has already accepted bids of £750,000 from West Brom and Norwich for the 27-year-old striker.

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Wigan, West Ham, Nottingham Forest and Sheffield United are also believed to be keen on signing Huckerby, while Celtic boss Martin O'Neill expressed an interest in him last term.

Keegan could do with the cash to fund a move for goalkeeping cover for David Seaman in the new year.

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Smith said: "Darren wants to give it a go at Manchester City.

"He hasn't decided that his future lies away from the club.

"He would like a chance to play for City again and it will be self-evident over the next couple of weeks whether he will get it or not."

Saturday's 3-1 defeat to Manchester United was City's eighth game without a win, a run which has placed Keegan under a huge amount of pressure.

The former England boss could be tempted to draft Huckerby into his squad for Monday's Premiership encounter with Leeds at the City of Manchester Stadium as he looks to arrest the slide.

If he is not involved, and does not get a call for the festive fixtures against Birmingham and Liverpool which follow, it is likely the Nottingham-based player will seek a move.

With 18 months of his current contract still to run, Smith admitted any transfer would pose financial problems that would not be easy to overcome.

He said: "If he was to leave Manchester City there are a few issues to be resolved. It would also be very difficult for Darren to entertain a permanent move into the Nationwide League.

"We will speak to West Brom and Norwich in due course but we also believe there are other clubs interested in him who are operating at a higher level.

"Too many people are trying to put words into his mouth at the moment."

But Smith and Huckerby have not always been on the same page recently after Smith said Norwich were not a big enough club for Huckerby while he was on loan there. Huckerby contradicted that statement and claimed he would be happy to take a pay cut to play for the side where he became a fans' favourite.

The Canaries were also last night waiting for an answer from Swedish striker Matthias Svensson, who has discussed personal terms after Charlton agreed to accept 'a nominal fee' for him.

Norwich have until 5pm on Friday to register the signings so they would be eligible to play in Sunday's derby match.

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