Hatters open to offers

CHRIS LAKEY A chink of light appeared at the end of the tunnel for Nigel Worthington when Luton boss Mike Newell said he would not stand in the way of players looking to better their careers - including City target Steve Howard.

CHRIS LAKEY

A chink of light appeared at the end of the tunnel for Nigel Worthington when Luton boss Mike Newell said he would not stand in the way of players looking to better their careers - including City target Steve Howard.

Worthington's search for new blood at Carrow Road has been a frustrating one - he has had one undisclosed bid for the Hatters target man rejected, with Newell insisting he will not let Howard go on the cheap.

But the Hatters head off for a six-day tour of Sweden today with the future of Howard, who has a year left on his contract, still unclear.


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Newell said: “We aren't a club who will stand in players' way if they want to go and better their careers. Everybody has got their price, but if that valuation isn't reached no one will go anywhere.”

Leeds are reported to have had a combined £700,000 bid for Howard and Kevin Nicholls laughed off by Luton, while Wolves are keen on Nicholls.

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Newell said: “Howard has let his contract run out before. We want them to stay but if they want to go the situation is that they have a year left on their contracts. I don't know what's in their minds, you would have to ask them.

“We'll see what happens but we aren't in the business of giving our best players away.”

Worthington is keen to pair Howard with City goal machine Robert Earnshaw in a little and large combination which he believes could terrorise Championship defences.

And while the bid has stumbled with Luton's refusal to accept Worthington's offer, the interest appears to have sparked a reaction from City's strikers, with each of the recognised goal-getters having hit the net in pre-season, including three goals from Peter Thorne, whose first season at Carrow Road was little short of a disaster.

“Peter has come back in very good condition and he knows what he has to do to be in the team and basically for the ones that are in here it is up to them to make their mark,” said Worthington.

“Everybody knows we are looking for a big striker at the moment and that it is proving very difficult to come by and so there is a great opportunity for the people within the club to try and make something for themselves.”

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