Worthy won't sell out
Nigel Worthington insisted he didn't need to sell players to bring in new recruits after watching his side battle from behind to pick up another welcome point at Plymouth on Saturday.
Norwich City manager Nigel Worthington insisted he didn't need to sell players to bring in new recruits after watching his side battle from behind to pick up another welcome point at Plymouth on Saturday.
Virtually all the transfer gossip of the recent weeks has centred around the possibility of star names leaving Carrow Road before the end of January, with Dean Ashton and Robert Green both being linked with big-money moves to the Premiership.
The Ashton speculation gathered pace yesterday when one national newspaper claimed the Canaries were mulling over a £7m offer for his services from West Ham, while if agent Andy Evans gets his way Green will soon be joining Portsmouth for somewhere between £1.5 and £2m.
But the club continue to insist that they have yet to receive a bid for either player which meets their valuation, and Worthington was far more interested in talking about players moving in the opposite direction after seeing his side come from behind to grab a well deserved draw at Home Park, courtesy of a stunning solo strike from Darren Huckerby.
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It is believed that the club's transfer budget for the season has already been used up, with Dickson Etuhu's £450,000 capture accounting for the last of the money. But the club remain hopeful of finding cash from alternative sources to back their manager - and the man himself would dearly love to spend it!
Asked for the umpteenth time about the futures of his two most admired stars, Worthington stated: “I want both players to stay - and hopefully I will be adding one or two more to the group between now and the end of the month.
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“To say I have got to sell to buy players is complete rubbish - that's not the case at all.
“There is some money available for transfers and I am grateful for that - it's just a case of getting people here who are sensibly priced and can fit in with our wages.
“We are looking to add to the players we have already got. There have been plenty of phone calls going in to try and make things happen.
“It's just a case of being patient now - it would be wrong of me to predict when something might happen.”
A dream scenario for Worthington would be couple of fresh faces coming in - and Green and Ashton to still be Norwich City players when the transfer window closes on January 31, the night the Canaries take on champions-elect Reading at the Madejski Stadium.
He clearly believes the best interests of both players and club will be best served if they stay around for another promotion push.
“There is nothing new to report on Ashton and Green - and we are not in a mind to sell the players,” he said. “I don't want to sell, the board doesn't want to sell and the supporters don't want to sell. It would take a really special offer to even make us think about it because we know how important they are to us.
“As much as the players might be ambitious I am ambitious as a manager and this football club is ambitious as well.
“We can all achieve the same thing by trying to get into the play-offs and then gaining promotion back to the Premiership.”
As for who might be coming in before the end of the month, it would be no surprise if Sunderland midfielder Carl Robinson signed for Norwich on a permanent basis, having joined initially on loan.
There was also fresh speculation linking City with a move for Cardiff striker Cameron Jerome yesterday, with former striker Iwan Roberts quoted as saying in The League Paper: “Jerome is high up on Norwich's wish list.”
But with the player's value now rated at around £4m a move would clearly depend on Ashton being sold, and the Canary legend was quick to stress that he had no inside information when contacted by the EDP last night.
“I don't what is going to happen on that one,” he said. “I was just commenting on the speculation I have read in recent weeks. All I said was that if Dean does leave Norwich then Cameron would be an excellent replacement for him.”
It remains to be seen what happens on that front this week, but Worthington's immediate concern is getting Ashton fit for Saturday's home clash with Watford, after the striker was taken off at Plymouth because of a “slight hamstring strain”.
Midfielder Jason Jarrett also failed to last the distance against the club he recently represented on loan, but the injury turned out to be nothing worse than a dead leg and like Ashton he should be fit by the weekend.
“Hopefully if all goes well they should both be back in training by the end of the week,” said the City boss, who had words of praise for his midfielder after an encouraging performance.
“I though Jason was excellent while he was on the pitch and that was good to see,” he said. “The boy came down here and did well for Plymouth and it was good to see their fans applaud him off.
“Now Jason has got to push on here - and that can only come from him.”