Soccer: Wood on the verge of $2m move

Chris Wood. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Chris Wood. Photo / Brett Phibbs

Chris Wood is on the verge of a move to Championship club Leicester City worth up to 2 million, which he hopes will see him return to the English Premier League next season.

The 21-year-old has bounced around various clubs during the past two years while being on loan from Premier League side West Bromwich Albion, who he joined in 2009.

But reports out of the UK suggest he's set to make a permanent move to Leicester in the January transfer window, subject to a medical clearance. The Mercury Sport reported the initial transfer fee was 1.25m with 750,000 in add-ons and bonuses.

Wood has been on loan at Millwall recently where he has netted 11 goals in 19 appearances and the South London club have made no secret of their desire to add him on a more permanent basis. But Leicester's bid trumps the 1 million they have reportedly offered for the striker's services.

Wood has achieved a considerable amount considering he only recently celebrated his 21st birthday.

He made his Premier League debut in April 2009 as a 17-year-old, becoming only the fifth Kiwi to play in England's top flight after Lee Norfolk, Simon Elliott, Danny Hay and Ryan Nelsen.

All Whites defender Winston Reid later went on to play in the Premiership for West Ham United in August 2010.

Soon after his Premier League debut, Wood played for the All Whites at the 2009 Confederations Cup and went on to make three appearances at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, coming close to scoring in the 1-1 draw with Italy.

His recent hot form isn't limited to club appearances, and he's managed nine goals in 12 appearances for the All Whites this year.

West Bromwich have clearly seen something special in Wood, keeping him on their books, but he hasn't figured in their Premier League plans. He played 18 games for them when they were relegated to the Championship at the end of the 2008-2009 season but saw his gametime drop off when the club bounced straight back to the Premiership for the 2010-2011 campaign.

Wood has spent time at Barnsley, Brighton and Hove Albion, Birmingham City, Bristol City and Millwall on loan during the past two years.

Leicester are fifth in the Championship standings mid-way through the season, two places ahead of Millwall, and are looking for a return to the Premier League for the first time since 2004.

- APNZ

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