Redknapp deterred by Ashton's price tag

Norwich City's promise that someone would have to “break the bank” to prise Dean Ashton from their grasp appeared to be holding firm today after Pompey boss Harry Redknapp baulked at the £7 million asking price.

Norwich City's promise that someone would have to “break the bank” to prise Dean Ashton from their grasp appeared to be holding firm today after Pompey boss Harry Redknapp baulked at the £7 million asking price.

The arrival of Russian billionaire's son Alexandre Gaydamak at Fratton Park - complete with his reported £70 million war chest - has suddenly lifted Portsmouth into one of the January transfer window's bigger players.

Redknapp, never shy to wheel and deal, has clearly got every intention of putting the 30-year-old's millions to good use and today confirmed that he was a big fan of the England Under-21 striker - only not at Norwich's asking price.

“Dean Ashton is a good, exciting young player,” said Redknapp, with former City favourite Chris Sutton and Newcastle United misfit Amdy Faye among the other names mentioned as Redknapp's New Year targets.


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It now appears that Pompey chairman Milan Mandaric and the club's chief executive Peter Storrie appear to be on Ashton's tail - just as they were this summer in Portsmouth's abortive hunt for Damien Francis' signature.

“And I have spoken to Milan about Dean, but Norwich are after £7 million and we won't do business at that price,” said Redknapp, hoping that City's price will drop as the real fun and games of the transfer window starts.

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“If the price comes down, then we might be able to do something,” said Redknapp.

The Pompey boss's interest in Ashton may have dimmed after he completed the transfer of Poland striker Emmanuel Olisadebe until the end of the season.

The Nigerian-born 27-year-old, who has made 25 international appearances, joins from Panathinaikos after a two-day trial at Fratton Park last month.

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