Norwich manager Chris Hughton likely to step up bid to retain Grant Holt

 

Norwich manager Chris Hughton is likely to step up his bid to resolve the future of captain Grant Holt after securing goalkeeper John Ruddy on a new four-year-deal at Carrow Road.

Ruddy, 25, impressed for the Canaries on their return to the Barclays Premier League last season, earning himself a call-up into England's squad for Euro 2012, which he had to then miss after breaking a finger in training.

Hughton took charge at the Norfolk club after Paul Lambert moved to Aston Villa, but has been away on holiday in Florida.

However, the former Newcastle and Birmingham manager has already moved to tie up versatile Scotland defender Russell Martin on a new deal, while midfielder Andrew Surman also this week penned fresh terms.

Before he went away Hughton is understood to have talked on the phone with Holt, having stated after being installed as the new Norwich manager his "main priority" was to keep the striker at Carrow Road.

The 31-year-old, who scored 15 goals to help keep the Canaries in the Barclays Premier League, handed in a transfer request at the end of the season, which was rejected by the club.

Holt is reported to want security of an extra year to his current deal and his representative revealed they will make a decision after face-to-face talks.

Norwich chief executive David McNally knocked back reports newly-promoted West Ham had tabled a £4million bid for the former Rochdale striker, who reiterated his desire to move on following Lambert's departure to Aston Villa, which is another possible destination for the centre-forward.

Hughton has yet to make any signings since his appointment, but could be set to raid former club Newcastle for striker Leon Best, and has also been linked with a swoop for Birmingham trio Chris Burke, Jack Butland and Curtis Davies.

The Norwich manager, however, is confident his defence lies in a safe pair of hands with Ruddy.

"John has made some fantastic progress over the past couple of years here and is an integral part of the club's future," said Hughton.

"His great work over the past couple of years has seen him work his way into the England squad with his call-up this summer and hopefully he can continue his great progress now for years to come."

Former Everton stopper Ruddy helped Norwich to promotion out of the npower Championship following his arrival in July 2010, and believes it is an exciting time at the club.

"It has been a non-stop rollercoaster since I joined, with a lot more highs than lows, thankfully, and hopefully that will continue over the course of the next four years," Ruddy said on the club's official website, http://www.canaries.co.uk.

"I love the atmosphere around the place and it's a fantastic club to play for.

"We have a new manager coming in too, who I am looking forward to working with."

 

PA

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