Ashton move would trigger windfall

Norwich City could net an extra cash bonus of nearly £1m from another big money move involving former striker Dean Ashton - after reports suggested West Ham s FA Cup final star is the target for a £12 million raid from Newcastle United.

Norwich City could net an extra cash bonus of nearly £1m from another big money move involving former striker Dean Ashton - after reports suggested West Ham s FA Cup final star is the target for a £12 million raid from Newcastle United.

The 22-year-old Ashton, who scored and produced an impressive display in Saturday's thrilling final against Liverpool in Cardiff - which the Hammers lost on penalties after a 3-3 draw - is said to be high on new Newcastle boss Glenn Roeder's shopping list as he seeks a replacement for St James' Park goalscoring legend Alan Shearer.

When the England Under-21 striker left Carrow Road for Upton Park in a £7.25m deal in January, City negotiated a sell-on clause giving them 15 per cent of any profit West Ham make if and when they sell the player.

If, for example, the Hammers sold Ashton at a £5m profit, an extra £750,000 would be heading Norwich's way - another potential boost to club coffers and manager Nigel Worthington s transfer budget.


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City have already benefited to the tune of £125,000 from one clause in the Ashton deal after West Ham booked a place in next season s UEFA Cup.

The Hammers agreed to pay a further £125,000 if Ashton wins a full England cap.

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Whether West Ham boss Alan Pardew would be prepared to lose Ashton so soon after prising him away from Carrow Road is another matter, after six goals in 14 starts made his club record signing an instant hit at Upton Park.

But Roeder, who signed a two-year deal as Newcastle manager on Tuesday, has made Shearer's replacement top priority and is hoping to offload a string of big names - including Albert Luque, Jean-Alain Boumsong, Nicky Butt and Lee Bowyer - to help fund his rebuilding plans.

Dutch World Cup duo Ruud van Nistelrooy, out in the cold at Manchester United, and Dirk Kuyt, from Feyenoord, are also reported to be possible targets for Roeder.

Shearer is to work as a recruitment consultant for Newcastle for the next two years, trying to persuade top players to join the club.

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