Jim denies Sunderland and Garvan link

BLUES Boss Jim Magilton has shrugged off reports that Sunderland are keen on signing Owen Garvan.

Derek Davis

BLUES Boss Jim Magilton has shrugged off reports that Sunderland are keen on signing Owen Garvan.

Magilton confirmed he had not been approached by Roy Keane regarding Garvan, but joked that the Black Cats manager was still not speaking to him anyway.

The Premier League strugglers are understood to be weighing up a January move for the Republic of Ireland midfielder and Magilton is not surprised his form of late has attracted further interest.

He said: “Owen has been playing well and he needs to carry on playing well. It is important for him to find a level of consistency. He has done well for five games now he has to do it for 10. It is no surprise that Premier League clubs are looking at him, it shows he is playing well.”

Magilton also denied that Norwich City are showing interest in defender Alex Bruce who is set to leave in the January window after failing to agree a new deal with Town.

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Magilton said: “I have no idea if Alex is going to stay. He can exercise his right to go on a 'Bosman' (transfer) but we won't talk about that until January.

“I don't know anything about any Norwich interest in him.”

Canaries boss Glenn Roeder also denied he had an interest in Norwich-born Bruce.

Roeder has just two dedicated central defenders on his books in on-loan John Kennedy and Gary Doherty after veteran Dejan Stefanovic was ruled out for possibly the rest of the season with cruciate ligament damage. But Kennedy is due to return to Celtic in January and even if Roeder does manage to persuade him to stay on, he is still short on numbers.

The link with Bruce - whose father, Wigan boss Steve, made 141 appearances for Norwich in the mid-80s before moving to Manchester United - is obvious, but not correct, according to Roeder.

He said: “You know, when somebody looks like they are going to leave a club, agents have to create speculation to see if there is anyone out there that suddenly comes forward because of the speculation these other people have seen in the papers, so you need to use other football clubs to create speculation.

“And obviously someone has done that with Alex as far as I'm concerned. I have seen Alex play - I have seen a lot of players play.

“Like his dad he's a tough boy, but that is just pure and utter speculation and I would think probably they have chosen us because of his links his father had - and his dad had a great time here.”

Magilton is till looking for a new centre half with Celtics Darren O'Dea and Cardiff's Roger Johnson among the possibilities.

Also in the frame is 25-year-old Graham Gartland who has been released from his contract with Drogheda united but Magilton insisted Town had not yet offered him a deal.