No go for Newcastle's Ameobi

Any lingering hopes Norwich City might have had of taking Shola Ameobi on loan from Newcastle United were firmly snuffed out today by Sam Allardyce.

Any lingering hopes Norwich City might have had of taking Shola Ameobi on loan from Newcastle United were firmly snuffed out today by Sam Allardyce.

Ameobi has been assured he still has a part to play at the Magpies and Big Sam insists the striker is not for sale when the January transfer window opens.

Ameobi has not featured for the Magpies since the end of September and has not even made the substitutes' bench in recent weeks, but Allardyce is adamant he does not want to lose the forward - especially now in the light of Michael Owen's injury last night while playing for England in the 1-0 friendly win over Austria.

Bolton and Middlesbrough are both interested in trying to sign the former England Under-21 international, while the Canaries failed with a loan bid this week accorinding to reports up north.

Allardyce will not allow the 26-year-old to leave as he argued the only reason Ameobi has been a periphery figure this season is because of a series of niggling injuries following surgery on his hip earlier this year.

“Shola is going absolutely nowhere, he remains very much a part of my plans and we are not interested in selling him in January,” said Allardyce, who is unlikely to allow any Newcastle players to leave the club until the end of the season. “I don't want to lose him, he is a very talented player who has an important role to play in the squad.

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“We've got a small squad here that can just about cope with injuries and suspensions, but we cannot afford to let anyone go. We will not be selling anyone in January.

“He has been frustrated because he has not really had a chance to show me what he can do, but I know what he is capable of. The only reason he has not been involved recently is because he has been injured. He has not been able to establish himself so far this season because of niggling injuries, that's all.

“He was still recovering from a serious hip injury at the end of last season and, although he has done that now, he has picked up a few little problems which have held him back. It's not been easy for him but he's training properly again now and he will be involved in the next few weeks.”

Ameobi failed to establish himself as a regular starter under either Sir Bobby Robson or Graeme Souness, but he played the best football of his Newcastle career under Norwich City boss Glenn Roeder, scoring at a ratio close to a goal every other game before he was hit by the hip problem.

And Allardyce was keen to point to Ameobi's decision to postpone surgery to help the team through an injury crisis last season as evidence of the player's commitment to the club. He said: “Shola sacrificed himself last season for Newcastle United and people should not forget that. He played for a lot longer than he should have before having the operation on his hip because he wanted to help out, but that has hampered him this season.

“When you have a serious injury, as we saw with Michael Owen this season, you are at risk of picking up little strains which can disrupt your comeback. That is what has happened but we are working with him to make him stronger and hopefully he'll stay injury-free now.”