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Norwich ready to refresh bid for SPL hitman to allay relegation fears

| 21.01.2013

If Norwich can take one positive from their 5-0 battering at Anfield it’s that it has convinced Chris Hughton to up his offer for Celtic striker Gary Hooper.

The Canaries are thought to be preparing a second bid, believed to be in the region of £7m, following the Glaswegian club’s rejection of their original £5m bid last week.

Defeat on Merseyside represented their fifth in six Premier League outings and the degree of ease which Liverpool took them apart was testament to the fact that they are genuine candidates to go down this term.

A 10-match unbeaten run earlier in the campaign has afforded them seven points worth of breathing space, but with the sides at the bottom, namely Reading and QPR, raising their game of late, this gap will soon disappear lest they stop the rot with haste.

They’ve failed to find the back of the net three times on this current winless run, which is a fire that Hooper could help extinguish, but it would seem as though their more pressing concern lies in defence than in the final third.

The Reds took their seasonal goal tally against Norwich to an incredible 10 at the weekend and the game was the third in which they’ve shipped five this season.

John Ruddy’s lengthy absence between the sticks has no doubt played its part in this and, arguably, the Canaries’ best player, Sebastian Bassong, sat out their latest drubbing.

However, England stopper Ruddy hasn’t featured since mid-November and his side won three of their first four top-flight games without him, while Bassong was sidelined for his first league clash since Norwich’s first Liverpool mauling of the season so these missing men hardly suffice as excuses.

It’s the latter’s partners/replacements who lack in ability to prosper at the top table of English football; Luis Suarez can make the world’s finest central defenders look stupid so it comes as no surprise to see him taking the likes of Ryan Bennett to the cleaners.

Hughton would be better served investing the funds he’s reserved for Hooper’s services in a top quality centre back to work in tandem with Bassong. They’ve proved they can get wins without a prolific striker so, if they can revert to their sturdy ways at the back, Carrow Road will surely be graced with Premier League football next season.

All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date



James Middleton