Eastwood catches the eye of City boss

PUBLISHED: 14:05 14 June 2007 | UPDATED: 10:20 14 September 2010

DAVID CUFFLEY

City boss Peter Grant admits he is an admirer of sharpshooter Freddy Eastwood - the striker Southend United are now prepared to sell. But Grant insists the Canaries cannot afford to “put all their eggs in one basket” when dipping into their summer transfer kitty.

City boss Peter Grant admits he is an admirer of sharpshooter Freddy Eastwood - the striker Southend United are now prepared to sell.

But Grant insists the Canaries cannot afford to “put all their eggs in one basket” when dipping into their summer transfer kitty.

Shrimpers chairman Ron Martin has accepted for the first time that he may be forced to cash in on Eastwood during the close season following the club's relegation to League One after just one year of Championship football.

That news is bound to spark off interest in the higher divisions, with Wolves already reported to have failed with a £1 million offer.

Grant, looking to reinforce his own strike force after making a bid for Scunthorpe's Billy Sharp, is also well aware of 23-year-old Eastwood's capabilities.

He said: “I'd heard a lot about Freddy because he was at West Ham before I was there, so he was schooled well and he is one that's impressed me. He likes scoring goals, and he's proved that in big games.

“We are always looking at quality players and we know he has quality. But there is a value certain clubs will put on a player and there is a premium for goalscorers.

“We are looking to get a few players in and we can't put all our eggs in one basket. We can't afford to do that.”

Eastwood has one year left on his contract at Roots Hall and Martin admits there may be a parting of the ways.

He said: “We are reluctant sellers but at the same time we don't want to keep a player who isn't happy here.

“I wouldn't say Freddy was unhappy but like every footballer he wants to be at the highest level he possibly can. There has been continued interest, which is what you would expect because he only has a year left on his contract.

“The offers so far, though, have not been cost effective from our point of view. We know Freddy can be instrumental in helping us get back up into the Championship, but then so could the money and you can never say never.”

Eastwood has scored 65 goals in three years for the Shrimpers, who won back-to-back promotions before failing to beat the drop from the Championship last season.

Grant, who confirmed his first new arrival of the summer yesterday as Crewe full-back Jon Otsemobor, said getting prospective signings to Norwich for talks was half the battle.

He said: “We are trying to sell the football club. It's not just a financial thing. The biggest thing for me is that face-to-face meeting and trying to get people to the club and trying to sell the club to them.

“We have spoken to a lot of people. We are constantly doing that. The biggest problem is so many people are away. Players are away, agents are away. There are so many people involved in a transaction these days. But we have a few irons in the fire.”

One of those is Celtic goalkeeper David Marshall, who made five appearances for City during a loan spell last season before suffering an ankle injury. The Canaries' offer for the player, believed to be £500,000, has been rejected.

“We had an offer rejected by Celtic, as they are perfectly entitled to do, and I can understand their position,” said Grant.

“David's very keen to come here but Celtic hold all the cards on that. We want to bring him here and I hope we can manage to do that.”

Grant, meanwhile, insists City have had no inquiries about striker Robert Earnshaw amid rumours of a £5m bid from Premiership new boys Derby County.

“At this moment in time we have received no inquiries concerning Earnshaw and I'm delighted about that,” said Grant.

“As everybody knows, everybody has their price - even players like Ronaldinho have their price. But by the same token if a club comes in and offers £10m but Earnie says he does not want to go then that would be the end of the matter.

“The most important thing about Robert is that he is a Norwich City player.”

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