Ameobi not on his way to City

David Cuffley Striker Shola Ameobi is NOT poised for a dramatic move to Norwich City - despite reports today that a deal worth up to £3.5m has been agreed with Newcastle United.

David Cuffley

Striker Shola Ameobi is NOT poised for a dramatic move to Norwich City - despite reports today that a deal worth up to £3.5m has been agreed with Newcastle United.

The former England Under-21 striker could instead be on his way to West Bromwich Albion.

One national newspaper today claimed that Ameobi, 26, was keen to link up again with City manager Glenn Roeder, his former boss at St James' Park, and that a fee that could rise to £3.5m had been agreed between the two clubs.


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City chief executive Neil Doncaster declined to comment on the reports, saying: “I don't generally comment on transfer speculation.”

However, it is understood from sources close to both clubs that there is no deal - and no new twist to the long-running transfer saga.

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Ameobi's agent, Steve Denos, told the Evening News last week that the player would relish a reunion with Roeder but insisted at the time there had been no approach from Carrow Road.

Instead, Ameobi appeared to be on his way to Ipswich, who were reported to have agreed an initial £2m fee, rising to £3.5m.

Manager Jim Magilton confirmed Town's interest, but said: “We have made an inquiry about Shola but not a bid. The lad has just got married and has been away on his honeymoon which we have not wanted to interrupt.

“When he gets back I'm hoping to be able to speak to him personally. A lot of things so far have been done through intermediaries but until I can speak to the lad myself we can't move on.”

However, it is now understood Town's interest has cooled and Ameobi's options may be running out.

He had a spell on loan at Stoke at the end of last season but a proposed permanent deal fell through and sources in the north today claimed newly-promoted West Bromwich was the player's most likely destination.

Roeder tried to sign Ameobi on loan last season and was singing his praises again at the end of the season, but he suggested he was a player who was likely to stay in the Premier League.

“I think he's a fantastic player, certainly rated much more highly by me than lots of other people who tend to be like headless chickens running round the place who don't score,” said Roeder at the time.

“He scores goals. Whether Shola Ameobi is prepared to drop into the Championship I don't know. I believe he is a Premiership player - I don't believe, I know he is. He would blitz the Championship. If I was Shola Ameobi I would only want to play in the Premiership.”

Ameobi has been troubled by a hip injury, however, and has scored just five goals in the last two seasons.

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