Swans to test Canaries' mettle with £3m Pilkington swoop
SWANSEA have made an enquiry about signing Norwich's Irish international winger Anthony Pilkington in a £3m deal.
The Welsh club have been monitoring the versatile operator for some time, but chairman Huw Jenkins said earlier in the month that they would not be making a move for his services because of his recent injury problems.
Pilkington has suffered a torrid run in the fitness department, but returned to the first-team picture as a sub in last weekend's Premier League win over Hull.
Norwich have resisted Aston Villa's offer for the unsettled Wes Hoolahan and have suggested they have no interest in selling players this month, but a serious offer for the injury-prone Pilkington could test their resolve.
Villa are likely to make another enquiry for Hoolahan before the close of the transfer window.
Ireland manager Martin O'Neill would welcome that development. He will be at Roots Hall today to watch Southend's FA Cup tie with Hull, a game which should mark Paul McShane's return.
The Wicklow man has been sidelined since hurting his ankle in the previous round. "The ankle feels fine and I've been back in training for a week now," said the defender yesterday. "It's good to be back available again."
Shane Long is cup-tied for today's encounter, while it may come too early for Robbie Brady. The latter's pal Conor Clifford should be involved for the hosts as he seeks to get his career back on track in front of a notable spectator.
Ireland assistant Roy Keane will keep an eye on the Stoke contingent tomorrow when he takes in their FA Cup trip to Chelsea. Marc Wilson, Jon Walters, Norwich target Glenn Whelan and the exiled Stephen Ireland could all figure.
Whelan's move to the Canaries depends on Lee Cattermole joining Stoke, but Mark Hughes has cast doubt on that eventuality.
Elsewhere, Shaun Williams will have to choose between Millwall and Brighton over the weekend after MK Dons accepted bids from the Championship pair.