Allardyce's sacking hits Ameobi chase

Paddy Davitt Norwich's pursuit of Newcastle striker Shola Ameobi stalled last night in the wake of Sam Allardyce's shock St James' Park exit.City manager Glenn Roeder was poised to step up his confirmed interest in the 26-year-old with Chris Brown expected to complete a protracted move to Championship rivals Preston today for a reported £350,000.

Paddy Davitt

Norwich's pursuit of Newcastle striker Shola Ameobi stalled last night in the wake of Sam Allardyce's shock St James' Park exit.

City manager Glenn Roeder was poised to step up his confirmed interest in the 26-year-old with Chris Brown expected to complete a protracted move to Championship rivals Preston today for a reported £350,000.

The Canaries' chief is a long time admirer of the former Newcastle trainee who has 18 months left on his current St James' Park deal.


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Ameobi had been frozen out under Allardyce - making the last of his six appearances this season back in September. The striker was not even in Newcastle's squad for their weekend FA Cup draw at Stoke.

Roeder has targeted the former England U21 attacker to bolster his threadbare strikeforce after being snubbed in attempts to extend Manchester City youngster Ched Evans' initial Carrow Road loan spell

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Under fire Allardyce revealed he was ready to listen to offers for his fringe players just hours before Newcastle's hierarchy dramatically announced they had parted company by mutual consent.

“I do not want to lose any players really, but I'm in the same boat as everyone else,” he said. “If clubs are interested, and I'm not specifically talking about Shola Ameobi or anyone else for that matter, then they have to come up with a sizeable bid.”

Ameobi could now earn a surprise short term recall after first team coach Nigel Pearson was placed in temporary charge. The big target man had also been linked with Premiership neighbours Middlesbrough - although Teesiders' boss Gareth Southgate is tracking Lyon striker Fred and £15m-rated Heerenveen forward Alfonso Alves.

Roeder has the full backing of City's board to launch a January transfer market search for fresh firepower to maintain City's Championship survival push.

Out-of-favour striker Chris Martin failed to impress in a rare start alongside Jamie Cureton during the club's FA Cup draw against Bury after veteran Dion Dublin was re-deployed in an emergency defensive role - while Czech import David Strihavka's long term future remains uncertain.

Roeder recently ruled out any possible loan move for Ameobi's fellow Magpies' marksman Andy Carroll. City have also been among of posse of clubs reportedly courting non league goal machine Stuart Fleetwood.

Forest Green's Welsh U21 international has struck 22 goals so far this season to fire Rovers into a Conference National play-off spot.

Norwich ground out three consecutive 1-1 league draws over the festive period to stay above the relegation zone - but the City boss pulled no punches after Gary Doherty's late rescue act earned his side an FA Cup reprieve.

“There are dues and responsibilities for all players in certain positions,” he said. “If you play as a striker and chances arrive you are paid to take them and we are not taking anywhere nearly enough of the chances we are creating. We work every day on finishing, crossing and finishing and straightforward finishing around the edge of the box. They don't have any problems hitting the back of the net then, but they have got to accept the responsibility, certain players, that they are missing far too may chances.”

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