'It will be hard for us to keep Billy'

CHRIS LAKEY Scunthorpe admit they face a tough job trying to persuade Norwich City target Billy Sharp to stay with them next season.The Canaries have made a bid for the prolific hitman, who is also mulling over a new contract offer to stay with the newly-promoted Irons for their Championship campaign next season.

CHRIS LAKEY

Scunthorpe admit they face a tough job trying to persuade Norwich City target Billy Sharp to stay with them next season.

The Canaries have made a bid for the prolific hitman, who is also mulling over a new contract offer to stay with the newly-promoted Irons for their Championship campaign next season.

But chairman Steve Wharton admits he may be losing the battle to keep hold of the 21-year-old, even though some suitors appear to have been put off by the £2m-plus asking price.


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“We have had interest now from four or five clubs - and I cannot deny that Norwich City are one of them,” he said.

“They all know what our asking price is. It's £2m plus other extras added into the deal which could bring us substantially more.

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“I can confirm that Norwich have made a bid, but I cannot go into details while discussions are ongoing.

“Billy himself has been made aware of the approach. I promised him I would keep him informed of anything that happens.

“I am still desperately hoping that Billy will stay with us at Glanford Park. We have made him the best new contract offer that we can.

“But the more clubs that express an interest in Billy - and the bigger they are - then I think the harder it will be for us to hang on to him. But I hope I am wrong.”

Sharp's tally 56 goals in a little under two seasons has alerted a host of clubs, and while Norwich have gone as far as tabling a bid, they will fear the intervention of Wolves, where Steve Morgan's takeover includes a healthy transfer kitty for manager Mick McCarthy.

“There is a great deal of interest at the moment as you can imagine,” said Sharp's agent, Imre Varadi. “It is a very exciting time for everyone concerned.

“He is very happy at Scunthorpe, but we will be having a look at the situation over the summer.”

Norwich were sticking to club policy of declining to comment on speculation yesterday.

While Sharp is considering his options, Scunthorpe boss Nigel Adkins could be set to make a surprise move to take back former Canaries trainee Paul Hayes, two years after he quit Glanford Park for Barnsley.

“All I know is that my agent has spoken to a few clubs because of my situation at Barnsley,” said Hayes, 23.

“If Scunthorpe are interested, it would be great for me. Because of what has gone on at Barnsley, a clash with the manager and what I feel is a lack of respect for myself, I've been told it is probably best to leave.

“It's one of those situations where you sort of know your future lies elsewhere.”

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