Magilton also has eyes on Cureton

CHRIS LAKEY Norwich City could face competition from bitter rivals Ipswich as the chase begins to sign Jamie Cureton.


Norwich City could face competition from bitter rivals Ipswich as the chase begins to sign Jamie Cureton.

The former Canaries striker rocked Colchester this week by handing in a transfer request, which alerted a clutch of Championship clubs.

Cureton was the Championship's top scorer last season, but Ipswich fans might not be enamoured with manager Jim Magilton's interest in a player who not only openly admits his admiration for Norwich, but also famously dyed his hair green for a derby clash against the old enemy at Portman Road in April 1996.

Magilton's pursuit of Cureton may depend on whether or not he can persuade Blackburn to part with Francis Jeffers, who had a successful loan spell at Portman Road last season.

Rovers have rejected a second Ipswich bid, believed to be around £500,000, for Jeffers and should Ipswich drop their interest, Magilton will turn to his alternatives, which include Cureton.

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"I believe Southampton are very interested and we would also have some other irons in the fire, but we would keep abreast of the Jamie Cureton situation," he said.

Norwich will doubtless be keeping a close eye on the Cureton situation, especially as rumours surface of interest in their own hit-man, Robert Earnshaw.

Newly-promoted Derby have been linked with a big-money move for the Welshman, and while Norwich officials have declined to comment, it is believed they have had no contact with the Rams.

City have put in a £2m bid for Scunthorpe striker Billy Sharp, who says he will only consider his next move when players return after the summer break, while any hopes the Canaries may have had of signing Cambridge United striker Robbie Simpson will be over by July 1, when the 22-year-old moves to Coventry - with the fee set to be decided by tribunal.

Cambridge boss Jimmy Quinn says the two clubs are "a million miles apart" in their valuation of a player who was rejected by City as a teenager.

"We made him a terrific offer, we want to keep him but he's signing for Coventry," said Quinn.

Cambridge chairman Lee Power said: "We'd like Robbie's situation to be put to bed as soon as possible.

"I know he has had a medical there, so it does look like we're going to have a day out in London at a tribunal.

"They don't legally have to tell us if he has signed, but I've already booked my train ticket in case."

Reports linking City with Millwall midfielder Marvin Elliott yesterday may be wide of the mark.

The 22-year-old is said to be a target for City, Leeds and Luton, although Crystal Palace have now dropped their interest.

Elliott has rejected a new contract, which was less than the £150,000 a year deal tabled 12 months ago, and is keen on a change of club, if not the London scenery.