Newell resilient over duo
By Pete Allison
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Luton boss Mike Newell will not allow Kevin Nicholls and Steve Howard leave on the cheap.
Luton Town boss Mike Newell has said that he will not stand in the way of either Steve Howard or Kevin Nicholls should they want to move elsewhere - but he is not prepared to let them leave on the cheap.
The Hatters pair are attracting interest from The Championship's biggest clubs, including Leeds, who have had a £700,000 combined bid for the duo turned down, but are believed to be planning a second offer.
Luton head off on their pre-season tour of Sweden on Saturday, with the issue of their captain and star striker's futures very much unresolved.
The pair, who were both instrumental in Luton's surprisingly successful season last year, have only one year left on their Kenilworth Road contracts, and their manager is seemingly looking to cash in, instead of allowing them to leave for free next summer.
"We aren't a club who will stand in players' way if they want to go and better their careers," said Newell.
"Everybody has got their price, but if that valuation is not reached, nobody will be going anywhere.
"Steve Howard has let his contract run out before. We want them to stay but if they want to go the situation is that they have one year left on their contracts.
"I don't know what's on their minds, you would have to ask them.
"We'll have to wait and see, but we aren't in the business of giving our best players away."
Norwich manager Nigel Worthington has had a bid for Howard rebuffed, and has admitted that Luton's resilient approach is frustrating him.
"We are trying very hard," said Worthington.
"We have had an offer in with Luton that was rejected and there are certainly limits we can go to.
"We have just got to keep plugging away."
Worthington is believed to want Howard to join up with Robert Earnshaw in The Canaries' attack, and is unlikely to stop his bidding for the 30-year-old there.
Wolves have previously been linked with Nicholls, but it remains to be seen whether new boss Mick McCarthy wants to follow up the club's interest.