McLeod set to stay with Dons

PUBLISHED: 14:01 27 January 2006 | UPDATED: 09:10 14 September 2010

Norwich City's transfer options narrowed further today with news that MK Dons striker Izale McLeod was poised to sign a new contract with the Buckinghamshire side.

Norwich City's transfer options narrowed further today with news that MK Dons striker Izale McLeod was poised to sign a new contract with the Buckinghamshire side.

The 21-year-old - the subject of three concerted transfer bids by Wolves this transfer window - has risen to prominence in the wake of Dean Ashton's £7.25 million switch to West Ham United and Cardiff City's determination to wring every last penny out of any potential suitor for the signature Cameron Jerome.

Now it appears that MK Dons' dire relegation plight at the foot of League One has persuaded the club's chairman Pete Winkelman to do everything in his power to keep his top goalscorer in Milton Keynes at least until the summer.

City sources suggest that McLeod was “halfway down their list” - their efforts remain focused on persuading Cardiff owner Sam Hammam and his side-kick, ex-Leeds United supreme Peter Ridsdale, to start talking realistic numbers.

At least the Cardiff hierarchy - and the player himself - are back in the country after Bluebirds boss Dave Jones whisked his players away to Portugal for a mid-season break earlier this week, while Hammam headed back to Lebanon on business.

The Bluebirds have an added incentive in trying to reach some sort of deal for Jerome, in that his exit could yet fund the full-time arrival of Welsh international Jason Koumas who has proved a smash hit on his loan spell from West Bromwich Albion.

Once again, Canary boss Nigel Worthington was left insisting that City will only pay realistic money - albeit for a player of obvious potential in the shape of the 19-year-old Jerome.

“We'll only spend our money very sensibly - that's the way we are as a football club,” said Worthington.

City are still keeping a large iron in the fire down the A12 in Essex as they continue their hunt for Colchester United's England Under-20 star Greg Halford.

A money-spinning fourth round FA Cup tie against Derby County this weekend - plus success in their LDV Vans semi-final - means that the Layer Road club are busily filling up the coffers, leaving them less inclined to sell their 6ft 4in youth product on the cheap, and certainly not before a big FA Cup tie.

“I want to keep this squad together,” said United boss Phil Parkinson simply.

Away from the transfer merry-go-round, Worthington did at least have some brighter news on the fitness front ahead of next Tuesday's trip to league leaders Reading with both Paul McVeigh and Adam Drury returning to full training.

The bigger concern now is Darren Ward's ongoing back injury, particularly given the transfer speculation that has surrounded City's first-choice 'keeper Robert Green in recent weeks.

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