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On-off Clingan sale will not affect pursuit of Whaley

PUBLISHED: 10:53 15 July 2009 | UPDATED: 10:50 06 July 2010

Bryan Gunn is ready to step up his pursuit of Preston winger Simon Whaley - and insists the on-off Sammy Clingan move to Coventry will not affect his transfer market activity.

Bryan Gunn is ready to step up his pursuit of Preston winger Simon Whaley - and insists the on-off Sammy Clingan move to Coventry will not affect his transfer market activity.

The City boss confirmed yesterday that Whaley is on his hit list as he seeks to fill the gaps on his flanks following the summer departure of Lee Croft.

“Simon is a player we are interested in and obviously we hope to speak to him in the not too distant future,” said Gunn yesterday. “If he likes what he hears and sees we would be confident of tying a deal up, but certainly it is in the early stages.

“It is one we have identified as an area that we need strengthening and Simon is a player that fits the bill for the style of play that we want to stick to and take into League One next season.”

Preston boss Alan Irvine, who left the 24-year-old out of friendlies last night, confirmed Gunn had made inquiries - although he denied reports of a potential swap deal involving City midfielder Darel Russell who, like Clingan, was left at home when City headed north for their Scotland tour at the weekend.

He said: “There has been an inquiry from Norwich about Simon but at the moment that is all we can say.

“It is something that could happen, but it is something that may not happen.

“It is simply a stand-alone deal, if there is going to be a deal. They have made an inquiry, at this moment we have not had an official offer from them.”

Transfer activity looks set to increase this week, with Clingan's move to Coventry still just about on, despite Sky Blues manager Chris Coleman threatening to pull the plug at the weekend - and with Championship newcomers Leicester reportedly ready to make a similar bid.

Coleman has set today as a deadline for the deal to be done - although Gunn says as far as he is concerned the ball is in Clingan's court.

“We have agreed a fee with Coventry and we allowed Coventry to speak to Sammy,” said Gunn. “Obviously that was one of the reasons we left Sammy back in Norwich. We knew there were things happening behind the scenes and it's obviously down now to Sammy and his agent to get things sorted out.”

The fee is reportedly between £500,000 and £700,000, and Gunn would appear to be ready to spend some immediately, having had bids turned down for Crystal Palace's Alan Lee and Derby's Liam Dickinson.

Gunn was yesterday linked with Barnet's highly-rated winger Albert Adomah, a 21-year-old who scored 10 goals for the Bees last season - but he insists that the last-minute hitch in Clingan's move hasn't affected his plans to bring players in.

“No - bids have been turned down, but we continue to work hard,” he said. “(Chief executive) David McNally is at the end of the phone and we are hopeful of getting some positive news and we will continue to work with that in mind and we will wait and see.

“It could happen in 24, 48 hours, but sometimes they get more protracted than that. It is frustrating, but hopefully we will get the men that we want.

“We are working on projects as we speak. I am constantly in touch with David and we are hopeful of more movement coming into the club.

“It is an opportunity for Sammy to speak to Coventry and if they get things agreed great, if not Sammy remains a Norwich City player.

Likewise with Darel Russell. There was interest in him at the end of the week and we felt the best thing was if there was that interest rather than disrupt the session here and people to-ing and fro-ing it was best they sort their futures out and we concentrate on the lads who are gearing up for the new season.”

t Former Canaries player Robert Eagle, 22, released this summer, has been given trial by Inverness manager Terry Butcher

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