Boss expects Ashton to be up for the cup

Nigel Worthington will have no qualms about allowing top scorer striker Dean Ashton to become cup-tied this weekend. The Canaries take on West Ham at Carrow Road in the third round of the FA Cup on Saturday and should Ashton lead the attack it would make him ineligible for the remainder of the competition were he to leave during the January transfer window.

Norwich City manager Nigel Worthington will have no qualms about allowing top scorer striker Dean Ashton to become cup-tied this weekend.

The Canaries take on West Ham at Carrow Road in the third round of the FA Cup on Saturday and should Ashton lead the attack it would make him ineligible for the remainder of the competition were he to leave during the January transfer window.

Portsmouth are the latest Barclays Premiership side to be linked with a big-money move for the former Crewe marksman, with Wigan and Manchester City also reported to be keeping tabs on the highly-rated youngster.

Worthington, however, has no intention of letting anything influence his team selection against the Hammers as he looks to avenge last season's defeat by Alan Pardew's men at the same stage of the competition.


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"If there was a buyer, maybe being cup-tied would affect his value in the buyer's book - but not in Norwich City's book,” he said. “He is not really for sale anyway.”

If Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp is to be believed then the Canaries have place a £7m price-tag on the head of a man who has scored 18 goals in 45 appearances since his £3m move from Crewe last January.

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“Dean Ashton is a good, exciting young player,” said Redknapp, who should have money to spend after Russian billionaire's son Alexandre Gaydamak teamed up with Pompey owner Milan Mandaric at Fratton Park.

“I have spoken to Milan about Dean, but Norwich are after £7 million and we won't do business at that price. If the price comes down, then we might be able to do something,”

Meanwhile his opposite number at Norwich stressed he was not looking to release any of his squad, who - despite a crippling injury list - have fought their way back into play-off contention with five straight wins during December.

And, given the necessary resources, he made it clear he would be looking to strengthen his options for a sustained promotion push, with young Cardiff striker Cameron Jerome a confirmed target.

The England Under-21 international, who is also be chased by Sheffield United, has scored 13 goals his season and is valued at around £2million by the Bluebirds.

"He is a player we greatly admire,” said Worthington, who would almost certainly have to sell to bring the youngster to Carrow Road.

"We have made an enquiry about the player but at this moment in time, there is nothing more on that.”

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