Search for a striker continues

PUBLISHED: 08:00 21 July 2006 | UPDATED: 09:31 14 September 2010

The wait goes on for Norwich City's first signing of the summer - but Canaries fans can take heart from the bookmakers, who have made Canaries hot-shot Robert Earnshaw one of the favourites to top the Championship scoring charts this season.

By CHRIS LAKEY

The wait goes on for Norwich City's first signing of the summer - but Canaries fans can take heart from the bookmakers, who have made Canaries hot-shot Robert Earnshaw one of the favourites to top the Championship scoring charts this season.

Earnshaw is ranked second only behind Birmingham new boy Cameron Jerome to claim the unofficial Golden Boot award.

It's finding a partner for the Welshman that is the problem, with Leeds rejecting Norwich's interest in Rob Hulse out of hand and Luton turning down an undisclosed offer for Steve Howard.

It leaves City fans contemplating one of their quietest summers for years on the transfer front.

A year ago, Jurgen Colin, Andy Hughes, Jason Jarrett, Matthieu Louis-Jean and Peter Thorne had all arrived before the end of July. Before that, Worthington had prepared for the Premiership campaign by bringing in goalkeeper Paul Gallacher from Dundee United, on-loan David Bentley from Arsenal and Youssef Safri from Coventry - all before the end of June.

Worthington has always had at least one player signed up before the end of July - but the pessimists are beginning to wonder if that sequence is to end this year.

This summer the doors have been shut every time City have knocked, with a target man and a right-sided midfielder his priorities.

Howard is still his preferred option to play alongside £3.5m Earnshaw, but the approach to Luton appears to have reached an impasse.

“We are trying very hard,” he said. “We have an offer in with Luton that was rejected. There are certainly limits we can go to. It is on-going between myself and Neil (Doncaster) back at the ground. We have just got to keep plugging away. The fact is, as far as big strikers are concerned, there is no in-between - they are either very expensive or they are not any better than we have got already and we want to bring people in who will add to us and take us forward rather than just being another number.

“Even though Leon McKenzie and Peter Thorne are doing very well it would add competition and more strength which would be very good for us. But there is nothing at the moment - we are pushing and prodding as much as we can.”

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