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Price must be right for Russell

PUBLISHED: 10:49 05 August 2009 | UPDATED: 11:20 06 July 2010

Chris Lakey

Bryan Gunn insists Norwich City will not sell midfielder Darel Russell on the cheap. Russell looked set to follow Sammy Clingan out of Carrow Road last month, but City rejected a bid from Premier League new boys Burnley.

Bryan Gunn insists Norwich City will not sell midfielder Darel Russell on the cheap.

Russell looked set to follow Sammy Clingan out of Carrow Road last month, but City rejected a bid from Premier League new boys Burnley.

Gunn believes Burnley boss Owen Coyle is still interested, while several Championship clubs are also believed to be considering a move. But until the price is right, Russell remains a Norwich City player - even if he almost certainly won't feature in Gunnnew-look League One squad.

“I think there is more there,” said Gunn. “Darel offers great experience and we just felt the bid that was received wasn't the true worth at this particular moment in time.

“We were very similar with Sammy - we stuck by our guns and we had a valuation in mind and we got there in the end, so I don't see any reason why we should change that with Darel.”

While Russell remains on the books it is costing City valuable funds that could be put to better use.

“It would be nice to have it solved,” said Gunn. “We still believe there is interest from Burnley, although there has not been further bids put to us.

“I think there are other Championship clubs possibly interested as well, but we have not had any bids from those.

“I was hoping that things would be sorted out by now, and I'm sure that Darel would be as well, but as we get closer to the season there is still that doubt surrounding him.

“Darel has been as professional about the whole situation as he can and likewise so have we at the football club, but until we get a bid that is acceptable, Darel stays and works with us, as he has been doing for the last two weeks. As I know and expected he would always do, he is training with the first team and working as hard as he can.”

The fear is that City's relegation and the shortage of money in the coffers makes them an target for bargain hunters, but Gunn says the club will stand firm.

“That could be the case, but we have a strength in the boardroom now as well, with (chief executive) David McNally and his negotiating skills and (chairman) Alan Bowkett and (director) Stephan Phillips coming on board we have a strong boardroom again as well. They have backed me in every way they could throughout the summer and obviously they feel the investments they have made in the past have still got a value to them and I think it is only fair we seek the proper price.”

Gunn looks set to lose another midfielder this week, with Matty Pattison in his native South Africa and, the EDP understands, preparing to play for his new club, Mamelodi Sundowns, on Saturday.

“We have given him permission to speak to Mamelodi Sundowns and we are still waiting to hear back what the final discussions are,” said Gunn.

“We have agreed a fee and I'm sure Matty has agreed terms, but as with all the other transfers we have done during the summer, we will wait until all the paperwork is collected.”

Gunn is still awaiting international clearance to come through for Serbian striker Goran Maric and Danish defender Jens Berthel Askou, but is confident they will be cleared to play in this weekend's season opener against Colchester.

“There has been a big changeover at the FA last weekend and we are probably in a backlog of other players coming into the country as well so we don't see any problem with it,” he said. “You would expect the FA would like to get their paperwork in order before the start of the season.”

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