Grant admits Vine interest

PUBLISHED: 12:11 05 January 2007 | UPDATED: 09:57 14 September 2010

DAVID CUFFLEY

City boss Peter Grant has admitted to being an admirer of highly-rated Luton Town forward Rowan Vine - but insists he has not made an offer for the former Portsmouth man. The 24-year-old striker has scored 12 Championship goals this season and the Hatters are understood to have turned down a bid from Cardiff City because it fell way short of their valuation of the player, believed to be at least £1m.

City boss Peter Grant has admitted to being an admirer of highly-rated Luton Town forward Rowan Vine - but insists he has not made an offer for the former Portsmouth man,

The 24-year-old striker has scored 12 Championship goals this season and the Hatters are understood to have turned down a bid from Cardiff City because it fell way short of their valuation of the player, believed to be at least £1m.

But suggestions that the Canaries had made their own offer for Vine were wide of the mark, said Grant.

“He's somebody I've known about for a long, long time because he was a reserve team player at Portsmouth when I was at Bouremouth,” he said.

“He's done exceptionally well and his scoring record in the Championship is fantastic, but if it gets into a bidding war I can't put all my eggs in one basket for a striker.

“I've not made any contact but with the goals he's scored, I know he's one of the names that gets bandied about.”

Vine joined Luton in 2005 in a £250,000 move from Pompey. He was on target for the Hatters in their 3-2 defeat at Carrow Road in August.

But having banked £1.5m from the sale of Carlos Edwards to Sunderland this week, manager Mike Newell is under no pressure to sell.

Grant intends to keep tabs on Celtic striker Derek Riordan, however, despite the fact that his agent, Jim McArthur, says a move is unlikely.

Riordan's prospects at Celtic brightened after he returned to the first team last weekend and scored in the 1-1 draw at Motherwell, and he played again in Tuesday's win over Kilmarnock.

Grant said: “Sometimes these guys are out of the side, not down to their own performance, but the performance of the players who are in the team in front of them, especially the big clubs.

“He's proved his qualities, and went and scored for Celtic in his first start. He's got great qualities, there's no doubt about that. As long as I've got a chance of getting him, I will be in the pack there with the rest of them.”

The City boss said he had been trying to tie up deals ever since the end of Monday's match at Crystal Palace, but so far there has been no business - inward or outward - except for the completion of Luke Chadwick's move from Stoke for a fee of around £200,000.

“It's been constant the last few days. Straight after the game on Monday, I was on the phone. I think every manager was talking to everybody. Somebody described it as a house chain and I think that's what it's like,” said Grant.

“It's not a fantastic time to try to bring players in because of inflated prices. They want to try to keep their best players and I can understand that. I'd be doing exactly the same.”

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