Canaries table bid for Sharp
CHRIS LAKEY Norwich City have officially joined the race for £2.5m-rated Scunthorpe striker Billy Sharp.The Canaries have lodged a bid, which is believed to match what the newly-promoted Irons are asking for the 21-year-old.
Norwich City have officially joined the race for £2.5m-rated Scunthorpe striker Billy Sharp.
The Canaries have lodged a bid, which is believed to match what the newly-promoted Irons are asking for the 21-year-old.
Scunthorpe chairman Steve Wharton confirmed that an offer had been received from Carrow Road.
“I can confirm that Norwich are one of four or five clubs showing an interest in Billy,” said Wharton. “Obviously I cannot go into any detail while discussions are ongoing.
“Billy has been made aware of the interest. Clubs looking at Billy know that our asking price is £2 million, plus various other things built into the package to make it substantially more.
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“But I am still desperately hoping Billy will stay with us and lead us into the Championship. We have offered him the best new contract that we can.”
Should Canaries boss Peter Grant persuade Sharp to move to Norwich he would, in theory, be able to pair him with Welsh hot-shot Robert Earnshaw, who bagged 19 league goals in just 28 starts last season, although that depends on whether Earnshaw stays or not.
Grant faces stiff competition if he is to land Sharp, who cost Scunthorpe £100,000 when they signed him from Sheffield United two years ago.
The League One champions have already turned down an approach from Sheffield Wednesday - believed to be in the region of £1.5m - but are expecting a second bid, while Preston say they have been priced out of the race.
“We actually enquired about Billy Sharp last August, but the fee they were asking was too much for us,” said Preston boss Paul Simpson.
“The figures that are being quoted at the moment are a little bit steep for us too.”
Wolves boss Mick McCarthy is waiting in the wings, with money to spend following the takeover by Steve Morgan last week.
Sharp has been offered a lucrative new two-year-deal by the Irons, although sources in Scunthorpe believe he will listen to other offers.
However, the player who scored 32 goals last season - the highest in the Football League - says he won't be rushed into a decision.
“I keep hearing this club and that club are interested, but I've not even had a chance to consider my new contract offer from Scunthorpe,” he said.
“It's really flattering to hear clubs are interested, but I've not sat down with my mum and dad yet to talk about Scunthorpe's new offer.
“I still had a year to run on my contract, but they have scrapped that and offered me another two years. I'll go away and decide what's going to happen when I come back. It's great that clubs are interested and if the right club comes in I'd like to speak to them.”