Carlisle boss claims it's all quiet on Harte front
Carlisle boss Greg Abbott says he has received no inquiries from anyone - including Canaries boss Paul Lambert - for defender Ian Harte. The former Leeds man has been the subject of speculation linking him with a number of clubs, City, Watford and Queens Park Rangers among them.
Carlisle boss Greg Abbott says he has received no inquiries from anyone - including Canaries boss Paul Lambert - for defender Ian Harte.
The former Leeds man has been the subject of speculation linking him with a number of clubs, City, Watford and Queens Park Rangers among them.
But Abbott says the 32-year-old, who has scored 18 goals this season and has a year left on his contract, will only leave Carlisle if the price is right.
“As a manager you are often the last to know about these things because of the role agents have these days,” said Abbott.
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“I am always reading about players I am supposed to be buying and selling.
“That will remain as speculation until one of these clubs who are potentially interested rings me and asks me if one of my players is available.
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“As a club we have to make players aware of any approaches that come in.
“If it is a bid that I think would be to the benefit of Carlisle United, I would recommend to the board that they would consider it.
“But at the moment that has not been the case with Ian Harte or any other player.”
Ipswich were interested in the centre-back in January, while Watford's interest may not be welcome, given the criticism which followed their signing of Danny Graham from the Blues.
While Abbott will be keen to hang on to Harte, there are others for whom this afternoon's game could be their last for Carlisle.
Abbott is in talks with the players he wants to keep, but there will be high-profile departures from Brunton Park.
Joe Anyinsah has yet to commit his future, Richard Keogh is in talks over a new contract, while Danny Livesey, who will miss the Carrow Road clash through injury, is also continuing discussions about extending his stay.
David Raven, Evan Horwood and Scott Dobie have yet to be approached about new deals.
Gavin Rothery, Michael Burns, Simon Lakeland and Manny Richardson were all freed this week, with Abbott looking for quality rather than quantity next season.
“The four lads weren't considered ready for our first team and we have to let them go and play some serious football somewhere else,” he said. “We can't afford to carry too many players that we have to wait to develop.
“We also have to be cautious not to discard talent too early but the decisions we made on this front last season were right and hopefully we have got these ones right as well.”
Abbott suffered a blow ahead of today's game, with goalkeeper Lenny Pidgeley - whose contract is also up this summer - and teenage defender Tom Aldred both ruled out.
Pidgeley suffered an ankle injury playing for the reserves against Oldham in midweek and 19-year-old Aldred is struggling with a back problem.
Second-year youth goalkeeper Mark Gillespie, who recently signed a one-year professional contract, will travel with the squad as back-up for Pidgeley's replacement Adam Collin.