BRIDCUTT ON THE BRIGHTON BRINK
Andrews in as Premier clubs circle
BRIGHTON completed the signing of Bolton’s Keith Andrews yesterday – and that’s the biggest sign yet that star midfielder Liam Bridcutt could be heading out of the Amex.
Holding midfielder Andrews has joined onloan for a year and came on as a second-half substitute as the Seagulls lost their third game on the spin, 2-1 to Derby, under new boss Oscar Garcia.
Republic of Ireland international Andrews, formerly at Blackburn Rovers, would be a ready-made replacement for Bridcutt, one of the Championship’s standout players in recent seasons.
Bridcutt has been linked with Newcastle, Norwich, Hull, Cardiff and Albion’s arch-rivals Crystal Palace throughout the summer.
The former Chelsea youngster missed the Derby game yesterday with a groin injury and Garcia confirmed he would be withdrawn from Scotland’s squad for the friendly with England at Wembley on Wednesday.
Garcia, already feeling the heat after defeats to Leeds, Newport and now the Rams, said: “He’s injured and I don’t know how long for.
“He cannot go for the Scotland game. I want him available for next Saturday so we will have to monitor him every day until then.
“I’m pleased to welcome Keith to the club. He is a player with experience at the top level of the English game and international football – including World Cups and European Championships.
“Keith is a player who I know will enjoy the way we like to play. He is a dynamic and energetic player and brings different qualities which will complement our existing midfielders, and he will bring added competition to our midfield.”
Bridcutt, who was on trial with Palace before signing for Brighton in 2010, has two years to run on his contract and would cost a significant fee but that is unlikely to put off his suitors with the Premier League start now less than a week away.
Palace boss Ian Holloway, who guided the Eagles past Brighton in the play-offs – admitted last night he’s been burning the midnight oil in a bid to shape his squad.
“I’m still looking to add four or five more – it’s what we need and we just have to get on with it,” said Holloway.
“I couldn’t work any harder. I’ve been up till midnight every night working on the deals.”
WANTED: Liam Bridcutt is a hot property Iss 166: Aug 11, 2013 Published by The League Paper Ltd