Peterborough slap �3m price tag on Norwich City target Mackail-Smith

Peterborough chairman Darragh MacAnthony claims Norwich City offered �1.5m up front with another �1m in potential add ons last week for star striker Craig Mackail-Smith.

United's Irish chairman insisted in a local radio interview the 27-goal striker is worth �3m and MacAnthony wants �2 million up front for the 27 year-old, plus another �1m in add ons.

'Norwich came in strong for Craig last Friday,' said MacAnthony, speaking on the United programme on Radio Peterborough. 'Offering �1.5m straight up and then another �1m in add ons that were not guaranteed.

'I rejected that bid as not right for the club and I discussed it with the manager and he agreed with me.

'Craig's agent came on the phone demanding that we let him go. My view was that if Norwich wanted the country's most prolific, in-form striker to help them earn �80m in the Premier League next season then they should put their money where their mouth is and meet our valuation.

'If �2m was offered straight up today with �1m of guaranteed add ons then Craig would be allowed to go. If we received that offer it would be a difficult decision to turn it down because I want to be seen as a man of my word. I have to do right for the club, but I have given my word as to what fee would make us sell.'

Peterborough boss Darren Ferguson had already stated earlier the week Mackail-Smith would not be offloaded on the cheap. Mackail-Smith has pledged not to renew his current London Road contract which expires in 2012, but Ferguson is loathe to lose one of his key men in the battle to plot an instant Championship return.

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'They (Norwich) need to make an improved bid for Mackail-Smith as their offer was nowhere near good enough,' he said. 'They want to get into the Premier League which is worth an awful lot of money, and if they want to be serious about it they need to make us a decent offer.

'He will only go if it suits this football club. I've spoken to the chairman about it and he agrees with me. Craig is a very important player for us and has been for some time and I certainly don't want to lose him now while we are so well placed ourselves.'

City announced last month that deputy chairman Michael Fougler had injected �2m into the club which would be 'ring-fenced' for the playing budget – but Paul Lambert has again reiterated he has to operate prudently in the market.

'We can't do what other teams can do due to the finances,' said the City boss, interviewed for the latest Football League podcast show. 'The chairman at the AGM not so long ago was quite right when he said we're lucky to have a football club that is still standing – that is how close it came so we had to stabilise it and spend bits of money here and there.

'We've brought one or two players in who have added to it and been a great help to what we already had here. We had to do something. We had to get a turnover of players to give us a hand and a bit of time and that is what we did. We can only do what we can do.'