Earnie injury fuels talk of striker transfer

CHRIS LAKEY Canaries striker Robert Earnshaw is still at the centre of Norwich City transfer speculation - even though he could miss the rest of the season with injury.


Canaries striker Robert Earnshaw is still at the centre of Norwich City transfer speculation - even though he could miss the rest of the season with injury.

National newspapers were yesterday suggesting that City boss Peter Grant was looking to Leagues One and Two for a striker to help the Canaries get back on the goal trail.

Ex-Canary Danny Crow is reputedly one target, at £250,000, although his Peterborough team-mate Aaron McLean is also linked with a move to Carrow Road.

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Crow said yesterday he knew nothing of Norwich's interest.

“Of course it's flattering to hear - I played there, I support the team and I was gutted when Nigel Worthington let me go,” he said.

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“But I am a Peterborough player and I am enjoying life here, so that's where I stand.”

Bournemouth's James Hayter is in the melting pot again, although Walsall's Hector Sam crops up for the first time.

However, it's not all one-way traffic, with Canaries skipper Adam Drury said to be on Derby County's shopping list - although Grant would be reluctant to sell a player for whom he has no replacement in the current squad - and after bemoaning the lack of natural left-footers at the club.

It's the goal-scoring problem that is likely to be at the forefront of Grant's mind, particularly as he saw one option - a goal-scoring midfielder - slip through the net a week ago.

Crow was allowed to leave Norwich in May, 2005 - a decision which surprised many and deeply disappointed the Caister-born striker.

The 20-year-old, who has also been linked with Premiership side Watford, has been at London Road for 18 months, although new Posh boss Darren Ferguson will see him as one of a number of attacking options, along with McLean, who has been an instant hit since his loan move from Grays was made permanent this month.

McLean has scored four goals in 11 starts for Posh, while Crow has five in 20.

Another option would appear to be Trinidad & Tobago striker Sam, who has six goals in 20 starts for league Two leaders Walsall this season.

All are seen as possible replacements for groin-injury victim Earnshaw, whose 17 goals for the Canaries had reportedly attracted interest not just from Watford and Portsmouth but also Manchester City, who manager Stuart Pearce is said to have been preparing a £5m bid.

Grant himself is still in the market for players to correct what he sees as an imbalance in a squad which has seen some adjustment this month - Craig Fleming and Ian Henderson are out on loan to Wolves and Rotherham respectively, while Chris Brown has joined Luke Chadwick as permanent fixtures and goalkeeper David Marshall has joined on loan from Celtic until the end of the season.

However, his desire to add natural left-footed players suggests he would be loathe to allow Drury to go, even for a reported fee of £500,000.

However, reports yesterday suggest Derby boss Billy Davies is ready to dangle the carrot of a part-exchange including goalkeeper Lee Camp - who had a three-month loan spell at Norwich at the end of last year.

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