Roy digs in for Gard­ner swoop

Midweek Sport - - NEWS - By JOHN PERCY

ROY HODG­SON is ready to move for Craig Gard­ner this sum­mer and save him from home­sick­ness.

The West Brom boss has ad­mit­ted that the Sun­der­land mid­fielder re­mains a se­ri­ous Al­bion tar­get for next sea­son.

Gard­ner al­most joined the Bag­gies in Jan­uary af­ter strug­gling to set­tle on Wear­side but has now spec­tac­u­larly re­cov­ered his best form to be­come a key fig­ure un­der new Black Cats boss Martin O’neill.

The for­mer As­ton Villa and Birm­ing­ham star faced Al­bion last week­end and Hodg­son claims he will launch an­other bid to steal him at the end of the sea­son.

“The idea was mooted be­cause he was very un­happy up there and ap­par­ently wanted to get back to Birm­ing­ham,” said Hodg­son.

De­sires

“There was some ini­tial sug­ges­tion that if we were pre­pared to pay the right price we could buy him – or an even bet­ter sug­ges­tion at one stage was that we could get him on loan him with a view to buy­ing him.

“That un­for­tu­nately fell through and, while these talks which were tak­ing place at the be­gin­ning of the trans­fer win­dow, Craig got back into the team and started play­ing re­ally well and scor­ing goals.

“So the longer we went into Jan­uary the less likely it was he would leave Sun­der­land.

“Now I don’t know what his sit­u­a­tion is. I don’t know whether he’s happy there or whether he has de­sires to come back to the Mid­lands.

“If he does feel like he wants to come back to the Mid­lands then I’m sure we’ll be one of the clubs in­ter­ested in him be­cause he’s such a good player.”

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