Canaries make offer for Howard

Norwich City have put in an offer for Luton target man Steve Howard - and still have their eyes on the highly-rated Izale McLeod, who has been put on the transfer list by the MK Dons.


Norwich City have put in an offer for Luton target man Steve Howard - and still have their eyes on the highly-rated Izale McLeod, who has been put on the transfer list by the MK Dons.

Canaries boss Nigel Worthington is keen to add a big striker to his squad, and with his interest in Rob Hulse almost certainly ended by Leeds' £2m asking price, the 6ft 3in, 14 stone Howard would fit the bill.

“Steve Howard is another option as far as the big man is concerned up front,” said Worthington. “He is somebody we have inquired about and we are trying to follow that one up. That's maybe within our capabilities, so we are waiting on a reply from Luton.

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“We have made an offer and we are waiting to see what they come back with.”

The 30-year-old, whose 15 goals last season included the fourth in Luton's 4-2 humiliation of the Canaries last October, would clearly come cheaper than Hulse, but Worthington declined to reveal just how much was on the table.

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“That offer at the moment is between Luton and ourselves,” he said.

McLeod is also on Worthington's list - not for the first time - but City will face competition, most likely from Wolves and Crystal Palace, after new MK Dons boss Martin Allen put the 21-year-old on the transfer list - to give him the chance to player at a higher level.

“He is a very good player who has represented England at the Under-21 level and I will see if there are opportunities for him to further his career at this moment in time,” said Allen. “I must make it perfectly clear Izale has not asked for a transfer himself. This is my decision and is based on media speculation regarding interest from other football clubs. If nothing happens he will be a key member of my squad for the exciting season ahead.”

What Allen has done is alert interested parties who will be ready to pay out up to £1m for the player, although whether or not that is within City's reach is debatable.

“He is a player that we have inquired about,” said Worthington. “He's a young player with good ability - yes we like him, we have inquired about him, but since that statement has come from Martin Allen I don't know what the asking price is.”

Hulse looked certain to go to Sheffield United this week but Leeds have reportedly turned down a bid of £1.4m, and that's out of City's reach.

“The situation with Hulse is that he is a player we like, but the asking price of around the £2m mark is far too much for us,” said Worthington.

His fact file is likely to join that of right-sided midfielder Luke Chadwick, with Stoke refusing to let the former Manchester United man leave the Britannia Stadium.

“Stoke have said he is not going anywhere so as far as I am concerned that is pretty much the end of it,” said Worthington.

It will leave City fans wondering just how tight the purse strings are at Carrow Road and just how much Worthington has to spend.

“There is a budget there that we have got to work with,” he said. “We know how well the club is run, we have a certain amount of funds to play with, but not sufficient to go and spend big money on players because it is just not there, simple as that.

“It is a case of trying to be as shrewd as we can and trying to get the best value for the pot of money that we have got.”

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