Worthy turns to Gray

PUBLISHED: 07:15 07 January 2006 | UPDATED: 09:06 14 September 2010

Norwich City are believed to have run the rule over Sunderland striker Andy Gray as record signing Dean Ashton continues to be linked with a move away from Carrow Road.

Norwich City are believed to have run the rule over Sunderland striker Andy Gray as record signing Dean Ashton continues to be linked with a move away from Carrow Road.

According to sources in the north east the Canaries have made a tentative inquiry about the availability of the 28-year-old Scottish international - and have been given a positive response by the Premiership strugglers.

Gray arrived at the Stadium of Light with a big reputation during the summer, after scoring 27 goals in 65 appearances for Sheffield United - but has yet to justify his £1.1m transfer fee.

He has only managed to score one goal for the Blacks Cats so far - and that was on the opening day of the season as Mick McCarthy's men crashed to a 3-1 home defeat against Charlton.

He has drawn a blank in his 18 appearances since that bright start, although it should be pointed out that he has been playing for a struggling side - and hasn't always featured as an out-and-out striker.

McCarthy is looking to shake up his squad during the January transfer window, having seen them pick up just six points in their opening 20 Premiership fixtures, and would almost certainly consider offers for a player who has a proven record at Championship level.

If they were to pursue their interest the Canaries would get their man for a good deal less than Sunderland paid for him - while the Wearsiders would also consider a player-swap deal.

Gray - the son of former Leeds and Nottingham Forest star Frank Gray - is thought to be one of a number of possible targets being lined up by City boss Nigel Worthington should a Premiership club make an offer for Ashton that is simply too good to refuse.

Worthington is keeping his cards close to his chest on that front, although he did confirm earlier in the week that he was an admirer of Cardiff striker Cameron Jerome, who has already scored 12 times in the Championship this season.

The highly-rated youngster would come with a price tag of around £2m attached - so Gray would be a cheaper option if the Canaries failed to land what is believed to be their No. 1 target.

All this depends on Ashton leaving of course - and while the Canaries have yet to receive a firm bid for his services there continues to be speculation in the national press linking him with a big-money move to the top flight.

The latest report, in the Sun, claimed that Manchester City manager Stuart Pearce had been handed more than £10 to spend during the transfer window, and would be using it to add Ashton and Charlton midfielder Danny Murphy to his squad.

The paper went on to claim that Pearce was confident of landing both players, with Ashton costing him £7.5m and Murphy around £2.5m.

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