Sharp in talks with Canaries
Scunthorpe United striker Billy Sharp was today set for talks with Norwich City over a prospective £2m-plus move.City have been given permission to talk to the 21-year-old after tabling a bid believed to be closest to newly-promoted Scunthorpe's asking price.
Scunthorpe United striker Billy Sharp was today set for talks with Norwich City over a prospective £2m-plus move.
City have been given permission to talk to the 21-year-old after tabling a bid believed to be closest to newly-promoted Scunthorpe's asking price.
If the deal goes ahead, the Lincolnshire club could net up to £3m by the time add-ons have been taken into account.
Sharp, the leading scorer in League One last season with 30 goals as the Iron claimed the title by a six-point margin, was understood to be meeting the Canaries today.
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“We have given Billy permission to go and talk to Norwich,” Scunthorpe chairman Steve Wharton confirmed last night.
“Norwich have had a £2 million bid on the table for some time - and want to be sure that Billy wants to join them before pursuing their interest further.
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“They have offered £2 million but they know we are looking for add-ons to that which could take the price to near the £3 million mark if they are promoted to the Premiership.”
Wharton admitted that two other clubs were also still chasing Sharp's signature.
“We have had increased bids from both Wolves and Sheffield Wednesday but neither of those come anywhere near what Norwich have offered,” he said.
Sharp has been offered the most lucrative contract in Scunthorpe's history in a bid to tempt him to stay with the club.
“We of course still want Billy to stay at Glanford Park. He said he would come to a decision about his future while he was away on holiday this summer,” said Wharton.
“His agent tells us he has decided he wants a move - but Billy's father tells me he has still not finally made up his mind.”
City boss Peter Grant confirmed last week that Sharp was one of a number of forwards City had inquired about.
“We are always interested in good players and someone who has scored as many goals as he has is always worth considering. Goalscorers are worth their weight in gold and we will continue to assess the situation,” he said.
“Too often we have relied on certain players to score our goals and that's something that we are looking to improve upon. There are a few strikers out there that we are interested in and Sharp is certainly not the only one we are looking at.”
Whether Sharp sees his future with the Canaries is still far from certain.
A move to Wolves is still believed to be his preference, giving him the chance to link up again with former Iron team-mate Andy Keogh.
Sharp is believed to have wanted to talk to Wolves - but that was denied because the Molineux outfit are still some way short of meeting Scunthorpe's asking price.
If City can land Sharp's signature, it will give them a major boost with pre-season training just a fortnight away.
Grant admitted yesterday he was frustrated by slow progress in his search for new signings
He said: “We've put a lot of calls in. Some have been knocked back - there have been a few like that. It's a bit like a pregnancy, just sitting and waiting.
“I had hoped to have three or four players in by the start of pre-season training. I hoped it would work much quicker. A lot of people don't tie things up just now.
“We will be getting people in. Unfortunately, there is a football side and a financial side and what people want, well, some of them are bizarre. Perhaps if it's a pound or two here and there, that's not too bad, but there are ones where I've had to say thank you very much and look elsewhere. There have been a few of those.
“But I'm hopeful we can get three or four people in that can take us forward.”
Grant, meanwhile, said he knew nothing of Wigan's reported interest in first-team coach Martin Hunter.
He said: “I've had no contact with anybody and Martin's not spoken to me about it so at this moment I am very comfortable with the situation.”