Roeder refuses to discuss Lita speculation

Chris Lakey On-loan marksman Leroy Lita returns to the Canaries line-up today, but manager Glenn Roeder has refused to discuss a possible move for a player who could be on the market for a cut-price fee in January.

Chris Lakey

On-loan marksman Leroy Lita returns to the Canaries line-up today, but manager Glenn Roeder has refused to discuss a possible move for a player who could be on the market for a cut-price fee in January.

Lita's contract at Reading expires in the summer and Steve Coppell is reportedly ready to sell him for just £300,000 - which could be within City's restrictive price range - rather than let him go for nothing.

The 23-year-old is in the third month of a loan spell at Norwich - essentially helping Reading to prepare him for the shop window - but Roeder, battling against the financial odds, has refused to say whether or not he will be among the bidders.


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“I don't want to be talking too much more about Leroy because at the end of the day he's Reading's player,” he said. “Reading did us a great favour, Leroy's done terrific for us.

“All I'd say is he's the sort of striker that we ought to be trying to sign.

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“On profile, when you look at the physical aspect and ability to score goals - he's nearly a goal every two games.

“There's such an emphasis now in the modern game on power and speed - he's got those requirements.

“He's just the sort of player that I believe you need in the Championship because I think he's one of those players that's had a little taste of the Premier League, he's played for England Under-21s and he's a cut above most strikers in the Championship - and he's got that physical presence. He's not the sort of player if you're a central defender who lacks a yard of pace you'd want to play against, because he would just run away from you - and there are lots of those types of centre backs in the Championship, who are good players but they lack a yard of pace.

“There are not too many what I would call outstanding central defenders in the Championship, because if they were outstanding they wouldn't be in the Championship, they'd be in the Premier League.

“There are some good central defenders, but quite a few of them lack a yard and obviously Leroy, if he gets the right service, can expose that lack of pace that some of them have got.”

Speculation is mounting ahead of January 1, but Roeder made it clear that he wouldn't be discussing any possible ins or outs.

“I know exactly what I want, I know where we need to strengthen,” he said. “That's for me to know and you to guess.

“I'm going to say what Steve Coppell said: 'Enjoy your speculation, I'm not getting involved in it. When we have got something to say as a club when we're signing someone, we'll tell you, and when someone's leaving the club we'll tell you that as well, but enjoy your speculation over Christmas, because I'm not getting involved in it'.

“Because that's all it is, speculation.

“But it's festive season, shooting season and there'll be lots of speculation because we're coming up to January 1, the window opening and I'm sure between now and January 1 we will be linked with loads and loads of players and our players going out of the club as well.”

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