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Monday 26 September 2016

'We'll sell Brady if price is right'

Ireland’s Euro 2016 star Robbie Brady could be hot property in the summer transfer window. Photo: Tony Gavin
Ireland’s Euro 2016 star Robbie Brady could be hot property in the summer transfer window. Photo: Tony Gavin

Will Robbie Brady have his wings clipped and remain a Canary, in the Championship, next season?

Weeks out from the start of the new season, Norwich City have stated that Brady's exit from Carrow Road is anything but a formality as those clubs who have an interest in the player have yet to make a formal bid.

There is some interest in Ireland's international players this summer, with reports of bids for Shane Duffy and Jeff Hendrick. Duffy is likely to stay at Blackburn Rovers - a purported move to Wolves would be sideways, not an upwards, move for the 24-year-old, though few at Derby County expect Hendrick to still be a Rams player when the transfer window closes next month.

But to date, the only current/recent internationals to have completed a move are Anthony Stokes (Celtic to Blackburn) and Callum O'Dowda (Oxford to Bristol City), and Norwich have stated that interest in Brady has, so far, been lukewarm.

"We have had a couple of contacts and different things and asking about his availability but in terms of firm offers then no," Norwich boss Alex Neil said.

Norwich City manager Alex Neil insists the club have not received any firm offers for Irish star Robbie Brady. Photo: Richard Sellers
Norwich City manager Alex Neil insists the club have not received any firm offers for Irish star Robbie Brady. Photo: Richard Sellers

"I don't think anybody is naïve enough to think we need to keep our fingers crossed he stays here. It is going to be a case of if people come in and offer the right money we will have a look at it.

"But if they don't then the simple fact is he will be here and Robbie being the lad he is and the player he is he will go and attack the season."

Norwich have already banked a chunk of cash this summer from the sale of Nathan Redmond to Southampton but the Canaries didn't wait too long before spending some of that £7million fee, with a £2m outlay for Liverpool's teenage forward Sergi Canos.

Yet the club insist that they are not desperate to offload Brady. "We are not trying to actively sell Robbie, by any means, and if he was here at the start of the season I would be delighted. Like anything else, every single player has a price, regardless of what club you are at," added Neil.

The Scottish-born coach knows, however, that events can change in a very short space of time. Only last weekend, Oxford United told fans to read nothing into the fact that O'Dowda, who made his senior Ireland debut in May against Belarus, did not travel to Spain with the club for pre-season and that the player was not for sale. Within days, the highly-rated O'Dowda had moved, to Championship side Bristol City.

So protests from Derby, regarding Hendrick, and Norwich in reference to Brady, can be taken with a pinch of salt.

As with Brady, interest in Hendrick is of the tentative variety. Burnley have reportedly made two offers, £3m and £3.5m, for the midfielder and Derby have quite rightly told the Clarets where to go.

Proper discussions about Hendrick's future have been on hold as the player has been on holiday, the Dubliner given an extended summer break following his exertions in France with Ireland. Derby have been in Portugal for pre-season for the last week but their Ireland trio of Hendrick, Richard Keogh and Cyrus Christie will only rejoin their team-mates for training next week.

Hendrick's aadvisers hope that their man can do better than Burnely or Middlesbrough in terms of his next move and the 24-year-old would be likely to stay on with the Rams if Turf Moor is his only possible destination.

Meanwhile, Preston North End have poured cold water on reports that Ireland defender Greg Cunningham was on his way to Championship rivals Aston Villa.

Roberto di Matteo's outfit were linked with a move for Cunningham, who impressed for Preston last season, but Preston insist that the Galway native is not for sale.

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