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Andrius Velicka


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Norwich City are said to be lining up a move for out-of-favour Rangers striker Andrius Velicka.

While a loan move to Hearts appeared to be on the cards, City are said to have entered the equation as they seek to pep up an attack that is short on numbers now that Leroy Lita has gone - and could be reduced by another if Antoine Sibierski returns to Wigan on January 18.

Te stumbling block could well be wages - the Lithuanian is said to be earning between £8,000 and £10,000 as week at Ibrox, which might well put off not only Hearts but also City boss Glenn Roeder.

Velicka moved to Scotland in 2006, when he joined Hearts on loan from FBK Kaunas, finishing top scorer for two seasons before a short spell with Viking Stavanger in Norway which preceded his £1m move to Rangers last July.

But he has failed to impress Walter Smith, making just two league appearances and scoring once - although the departure of Jean-Claude Darcheville may mean there is some light at the end of the tunnel.

Velicka, who scored 19 times in 47 appearances during his loan spell at Hearts, was on the bench for Rangers' SPL match at Inverness CT yesterday.

Meanwhile, Leroy Lita - wanted by Roeder but unlikely to be allowed to spend the second half of the season at City - is attracting the attention of Premier League Newcastle and Everton.

The News of the World claimed yesterday that both teams have made Lita a “recession-beating target” - attracted by the £350,000 price tag.

The shortage of numbers at Carrow Road was clear on Saturday when, with seven subs allowed, Roeder named out-of-favour Simon Lappin and Academy product Korey Smith on his bench.

“Korey Smith has crept on the bench, Tom Adeyemi just missed out,” he said. “These are young boys who will one day play for Norwich, but they're not ready. But having said that it's great experience for them, fantastic experience.

“We will keep taking them away with us and they will warm up with the team even if they're not involved on the bench, so when their opportunity does come it's not such a new thing to them.”


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