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Fulham defender Ian Pearce has turned down the chance to join Norwich City on loan, according to a report from the Norwich Evening News.

The 31 year-old centre back was apparently Nigel Worthington’s top summer target and a deal appeared possible with the former Blackburn defender’s first team chances at Craven Cottage looking limited by the emergence of Zat Knight and Zesh Rehman alongside Alain Goma and Carlos Bocanegra.

But Pearce decided against making the move to Carrow Road as he did not wish to separated from his young family, who are settled in London after his recent spell at West Ham.

A disappointed Worthington told the paper: “It is frustrating to get so close to sorting a deal out only for it to fall through. But we have to respect the player’s wishes.”