Nothing to report on Ashton - yet

Last updated : 21 January 2006 By Rick Lamb
City Chief Executive Neil Doncaster has managed to put nobody's mind at rest over Dean Ashton's future by reacting to newspaper gossip with a statement denying nothing.

According to the Evening News, Doncaster responded to a story in the Daily Mail that West Ham United had agreed an £8million fee with the Canaries for their top scorer, who was in London yesterday for talks, with an uncharacteristically terse statement.

“As and when there is anything to report we will report it," said the Chief Executive. "As of yet there is nothing.”

The Mail seem to have taken a particular interest in the saga, yesterday claiming that the Hammers had agreed to sign Barcelona's Maxi Lopez for £7million in the summer, but would still pursue Ashton in the short term. They also reported earlier in the week that it was Delia Smith herself who sanctioned the refusal of a previous bid from Alan Pardew.

According to reports, Pardew was hoping to have Ashton confirmed by last night's deadline so he could play in Monday night's televised clash with Fulham. Ashton has not trained with the Canaries all week because of the same groin injury that kept him out of the defeat to the Iron in the FA Cup, and could again see him miss out on this afternoon's meeting with Watford.