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Exit door closing for Russell

PUBLISHED: 10:54 27 August 2009 | UPDATED: 11:42 06 July 2010

Norwich City midfielder Darel Russell could be left in limbo after seemingly missing out on a move to the Premier League with Burnley. The Canaries midfielder may now be left relying on a Championship club to secure his desired route out of Norfolk - but if that is not forthcoming, Russell could be left at a club he no longer wants to play for until the New Year.

Norwich City midfielder Darel Russell could be left in limbo after seemingly missing out on a move to the Premier League with Burnley.

The Canaries midfielder may now be left relying on a Championship club to secure his desired route out of Norfolk - but if that is not forthcoming, Russell could be left at a club he no longer wants to play for until the New Year.

Burnley made an offer for the want-away midfielder earlier in the summer, after Russell confirmed to then boss Bryan Gunn he did not want to hang around for a season in League One following the Canaries' relegation from the Championship.

That bid was believed to be in the region of £200,000 - well below City's asking price for a player who still has a year to run on his current deal.

But sources in the north west have suggested Burnley manager Owen Coyle's summer spending may have reached its end, depending on how much they will be expected to pay for two of last month's signings.

Newcastle defender David Edgar - repeatedly linked with a move to Norwich last season - and Manchester United midfielder Richard Eckersley have already signed four-year contracts at Turf Moor, both making their debuts during Tuesday's Carling Cup extra-time win at Hartlepool - Norwich's League One destination on Saturday.

But with the pair under 24 and the parties struggling to agree on a fee, it is likely the two clubs will have to go to a tribunal for a final verdict.

That means Coyle, whose wage budget is relatively tight, could have to wait until he knows how much has to be paid for the two players before committing to spend any more.

Since Burnley's Championship play-off win at Wembley, Coyle has paid £3.5m for Hibernian striker Steven Fletcher, £850,000 on a combination of Tyrone Mears and Brian Easton, and around £1.8m on Reading defender Andre Bikey.

But there may not be enough left to secure the services of Russell, who has made 85 appearances since returning to Norwich from Stoke City two seasons ago but has not played a match since the Canaries' relegation, including pre-season.

Russell may now be left hoping that Preston boss Alan Irvine rekindles his summer interest to prevent the transfer deadline passing without a Norfolk exit.

Burnley's limited budget could have a silver lining for City, however, with a pre-deadline move for current City number one Ben Alnwick now thought to be unlikely.

Reports this week suggested Coyle was considering a £1m offer to Tottenham for Alnwick, who has two months left on his loan spell at Norwich but can be recalled by Spurs within 24-hour's notice.

It is understood the Burnley boss is happy with current understudy to popular first choice Brian Jenson, Peruvian goalkeeper Diego Penny, who made only his second first team appearance in 12 months in midweek.

Both Jenson and Penny would in all likelihood remain ahead of Alnwick in the pecking order at Turf Moor, leaving a move away from Spurs to the north west - where Alnwick is also third choice - much less desirable.

The Canaries will now be hoping Alnwick recovers from the facial injury he suffered against Sunderland on Monday for City's trip to Hartlepool on Saturday.


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