Howard will not leave on the cheap

Luton Town boss Mike Newell has said they will not stand in the way of players looking to better their careers - including City target Steve Howard. But Newell has warned clubs chasing striker Howard and club skipper Kevin Nicholls that they will not prise them away on the cheap.

Luton Town boss Mike Newell has said they will not stand in the way of players looking to better their careers - including City target Steve Howard.

But Newell has warned clubs chasing striker Howard and club skipper Kevin Nicholls that they will not prise them away on the cheap.

The Hatters head off for a six-day tour of Sweden tomorrow with the future of Howard and Nicholls still unclear. Both players have one year left on their Kenilworth Road contracts.

Newell said: “We aren't a club who will stand in players' way if they want to go and better their careers. Everybody has got their price, but if that valuation isn't reached no one will go anywhere.”


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City boss Nigel Worthington has had an undisclosed offer for Howard rejected, and admits he has been frustrated in his pursuit of the 30-year-old top scorer, who he would like to pair with Robert Earnshaw in attack.

“We are trying very hard,” said Worthington. “We have an offer in with Luton that was rejected. There are certainly limits we can go to. It is ongoing between myself and Neil Doncaster back at the ground. We have just got to keep plugging away.

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“The fact is, as far as big strikers are concerned, there is no in-between - they are either very expensive or they are not any better than we have got already and we want to bring people in who will add to us and take us forward rather than just being another number.

“Even though Leon McKenzie and Peter Thorne are doing very well it would add competition and more strength which would be very good for us. But there is nothing at the moment - we are pushing and prodding as much as we can.”

Leeds are reported to have had a combined £700,000 bid for Howard and Nicholls laughed off by Luton, while Wolves are keen on Nicholls.

Newell said: “Howard has let his contract run out before.

“We want them to stay but if they want to go the situation is that they have a year left on their contracts. I don't know what's in their minds, you would have to ask them.

“We'll see what happens but we aren't in the business of giving our best players away.”

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