City boss Glenn Roeder could yet find himself with at least one Championship rival for Andy Carroll's services if this morning's national newspaper reports are to be believed.
The Daily Mirror this morning insisted that the strapping England Under-19 striker was the Canaries' latest loan target; it would have a certain logic to it.
For not only do Roeder, Lee Clark and Co have a hot-line into Tyneside through their many contacts at St James' Park, they also have a pressing need to spark a bit of life into a fitful frontline that is currently without Antoine Sibierski.
Left battered and bruised by his recent stints as City's physical presence up-front, the on-loan 34-year-old missed this weekend's wretched defeat at Burnley with aches, pains and general strains.
That in turn then forced the Canary boss to press Darel Russell back into strike duty – a make-do-and-mend solution to Norwich's needs that has yet to really work on a consistent basis.
Which is why Roeder may well be casting a covetous eye on the teenage Carroll after the Newcastle Academy product grabbed his second goal in as many reserve team games on Tuesday in the 1-1 draw with Hull.
Back on Tyneside, however, and it is not Norwich's name doing the rounds, rather that of Cardiff City. Bluebirds boss Dave Jones chased the player last season before he opted for a switch to Preston North End.
According to the Newcastle Chronicle and Jones is back in the frame again; whether or not the Canaries are about to play their Lee Clark the Geordie hero trump card remains to be seen. The have two others in the shape of Ryan Bertrand and Elliot Omosuzi – both of whom will know Carroll from the England Youth set-up.
One thing is, however, certain. The 19-year-old is more than willing to go out on loan; his bags are already all-but packed.
“Newcastle United come first,” he told the Chronicle. With a swift 'but' to follow.
“And if I am needed here as cover for injuries then so be it ? but I would love to go on loan.”
Amid the chaos of St James' – with two, prospective new owners now reported to be waiting in the wings – one of the bigger ironies is the fact that the much-maligned Shola Ameobi is one of those riding to the club's rescue.
A target for both East Anglian clubs over the summer, the 25-year-old has now grabbed two goals in Newcastle's last four games as they start to dig themselves out of trouble.
Though Mark Viduka remains on Joe Kinnear's sick list, Oba Martins has likewise been among the goals and Michael Owen is now there or thereabouts. So the Magpies chief has obvious options ahead of Carroll – hence the suggestion that the 6ft 3in striker might be allowed to come out to play.
“We are a bit short at the moment, so we will see what happens,” said the player himself.
“I will just keep going and try to get into the first team. If a loan comes along, though, it would be good for experience.”
Fitness-wise, he likewise appears raring to go. The fact that Tuesday night's 1-1 draw also saw him miss a penalty – not that that appeared to dent his confidence unduly.
“That is what penalties are all about ? you pick your direction and hit it, but if the goalkeeper guesses right that is the way it goes and you get on with it,” said Carroll, still feeling in decent shape and ready for whatever next.
“Overall, I am happy, although my fitness has not been as high as I would like. I have been doing extra work in training and that has made a difference.
“Now I am up there in terms of fitness ? I have just played 90 minutes for the first time this season. I kept on running strong until the end, so hopefully the manager will see something and give me the chance.”
Whether said manager actually proves to be Kinnear rather than AN Other Championship manager remains to be see. But the kid's ready to rumble.
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