Cureton wants out
CHRIS LAKEY Ex-Canaries striker Jamie Cureton has handed in a transfer request at Colchester United - a decision which will inevitably fuel speculation of a summer move back to Carrow Road.
Ex-Canaries striker Jamie Cureton has handed in a transfer request at Colchester United - a decision which will inevitably fuel speculation of a summer move back to Carrow Road.
Sources close to the player say the 31-year-old - leading scorer in the Championship last season - believes Colchester's ambitions don't match his own, a view which prompted him to ask for a move.
"Having thought very carefully over my future, I have decided to ask for a transfer away from Colchester United," said Cureton (pictured) yesterday.
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"Talks over a new contract broke down several weeks ago and the club's failure to re-sign several key players has convinced me to make this decision.
"I remain very ambitious in my football career and it is clear to me that my ambitions are not matched by the club and I hope that they respect my decision and allow me to move on."
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There is unlikely to be a shortage of interested parties: Cureton's career has taken a massive upturn in the last 12 months and although he has a year left on his contract at Layer Road a transfer fee is likely to be within the reach of most Championship transfer budgets - as is his salary demands.
Norwich, where he began his career in 1993, are almost certain to be in the mix: manager Peter Grant has already made it clear that he wants another forward after Scunthorpe confirmed a £2m bid had been put in for their prolific striker Billy Sharp.
Then there's Cureton, who has never made a secret of his fondness for Norwich - he declined to celebrate either of the two goals he scored against City last season - nor his disappointment at the way he failed to follow up on his early potential and allowed a career at Carrow Road to slip out of his hands just three and a half years after his debut.
Since then he has been a prolific scorer at Bristol Rovers and Reading, with an ill-fated stint in South Korea followed by short stays at QPR and Swindon before he settled at Colchester.
A loan spell was turned into a permanent move and Cureton responded by hammering home 23 league goals as Colchester exceeded all expectations by finishing 10th after challenging for the play-offs.
Cureton saw strike partner Chris Iwelumo, who scored 18 Championship goals last season, join Charlton on a free transfer last month - and issue an ominous warning.
"I was amazed they didn't do more to keep me," said Iwelumo. "Most clubs would die for a goalscoring duo like myself and Jamie Cureton. We were envied by a lot of clubs in the Championship and they would look to build around a partnership like that. I dread to think what will happen if another club comes in with a big-money bid for Cureton."
While the name Cureton is added to the ever-growing list of players linked with a move to City, that of Martin Woods can now definitely be erased after the Rotherham midfielder was signed by Doncaster yesterday.
A host of Championship clubs, including Norwich, were said to be chasing Woods, who has opted instead to join another rumoured target, James Hayter, who recently joined Doncaster from Bournemouth.