Peterborough striker keen on Norwich City move
PUBLISHED: 10:09 16 March 2011
Peterborough striker Craig Mackail-Smith spoke last night of his disappointment at missing out on a move to Norwich City - and the possibility of Premier League football next season.
News of a possible loan deal, with a subsequent full transfer expected to cost around £2.5m in the summer, was revealed by former City star Dion Dublin on the BBC’s Late Kick-Off programme on Monday evening, which was aired just after Paul Lambert’s men had beaten Bristol City 3-1 to move into second place in the Championship.
League One promotion chasers Posh then put a statement on their own website saying they had rejected a bid from the Canaries for Mackail-Smith, who has scored 26 times this season.
Mackail-Smith, who netted in Peterborough’s 4-1 win against Sheffield Wednesday, told TalkSport: “Norwich are on the verge of getting in the Premier League and for them to want me to join the team to push them over the edge is a great compliment.
“But the club have said it’s not the right offer and I won’t let it affect me. I love playing football, that’s my job and I’ll keep giving 100 per cent to Peterborough until I’m told otherwise.
“I’d love to play at a higher level but I can only do what the club allow me to. The bid wasn’t right for the club. When the right bid comes in and the club come to me and say they’ve accepted the offer then I’ll take it from there and see what happens.
“I’ve just got to concentrate on my football, keep doing what I’m doing, and sooner or later something will come from it.”
Mackail-Smith, who has ruled out extending his contract with Posh beyond 2012, now hopes he’ll get his move away at the end of the season – after he has fired the club into the Championship.
He added: “I want to push on and progress. I’m 27 now. I need to go on and experience other clubs. I’ve enjoyed my time at Peterborough but I feel it’s time to move on at the end of the season – once I’ve got them promoted.”
Peterborough issued their own statement early yesterday.
“I have had talks with Norwich City, but I have also had discussions with our chairman Darragh MacAnthony and our manager Darren Ferguson and we have rejected the proposal,” said their director of football, Barry Fry.
“There is always a lot of speculation about Craig because he is the leading goalscorer in League One and has an impressive goal to game ratio, but Norwich are the sixth different club to make a bid and we have rejected them all after talking it over with the chairman.”
City boss Lambert, however, played down reports of a bid when he spoke on TalkSport after Posh’s statement was issued.
“I heard it was on that Late Kick-Off but I think that’s on about three in the morning, it’s too late for me,” he said. “I don’t know – it is the first I have heard of it. Unless somebody is impersonating my voice then I will need to hear it from myself.”
Mackail-Smith joined Posh from Dagenham & Redbridge in January, 2007, and has scored 91 goals in 199 appearances for the club.