Striker search takes another twist

Norwich City's search for a striker has taken another twist with reports suggesting manager Glenn Roeder is prepared to hang on to the last minute to land Newcastle's Shola Ameobi in a cut-price deal.

Norwich City's search for a striker has taken another twist with reports suggesting manager Glenn Roeder is prepared to hang on to the last minute to land Newcastle's Shola Ameobi in a cut-price deal.

Roeder is a big admirer of 26-year-old Ameobi, his former player at St James' Park, but a transfer fee of about £3m plus a hefty salary have always been seen as major stumbling blocks.

However, reports in the North East say Roeder may yet get his man if Newcastle are prepared to compromise on the asking price.

One newspaper quoted a source close to Ameobi revealing the influence that Roeder has on the player - and which could persuade him to head to Carrow Road.


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“Shola would be willing to move to Norwich because he enjoyed working with Glenn Roeder and he gets on well with Lee Clark, but the problem is the fee and his wages,” said the source. “At this stage, Norwich haven't got the money to sign him, but they are hoping Newcastle will accept a reduced offer the closer it gets to the start of the season.”

Ameobi had been expected to join West Bromwich Albion, but the move appeared to have collapsed last week with manager Tony Mowbray expecting striker Kevin Phillips to sign a new contract.

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Phillips, however, joined Birmingham City on a two-year contract yesterday after Albion refused to offer him more than a one-year deal, so Mowbray could revive his interest in Ameobi.

Roeder may also be alerted by the fact that two former City targets are expected to be on the move this summer.

Crystal Palace have confirmed they have withdrawn striker Clinton Morrison's contract offer and will not be making another one.

Morrison, a free agent since July 1, was Palace's top scorer last season with 16 goals, including his 100th for the club.

And Leicester striker Steve Howard, 32, who scored against the Canaries last season, is believed to be unhappy at the prospect of League One football and looking to leave the Walkers Stadium - though his salary may be prohibitive.

Wolves are believed to have inquired about Howard, who joined Leicester from Derby in January for £1.5m.

Meanwhile, Leicester are reported to be keen to sign Blackburn's former Swiss international defender Bruno Berner, 30, who was on trial with the Canaries last week but suffered the recurrence of a knee injury during his Colney stay.

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