Date:Tuesday April 1 2008
The club aren't about to let top scorer Nicky Maynard go on the cheap as the newspapers start talking.
The Daily Star on Sunday picked Maynard's name out of a hat and decided West Brom were willing to pay £1million for the 20 year old. This isn't the first time Maynard has been linked with the Baggies, in fact he was a supposed target of theirs back in December.
Any rumours linking Maynard away from Gresty Road come as no surprise. His record is pretty impressive with a goal ratio of near enough one every two games, a ratio that surely would be better had he not spent much of this season out injured and playing below the required fitness.
Recently Maynard has hit fitness and form in impressive style. Five goals in his last four matches have propelled him into the club's top scorer spot with nine goals - a tally surely to grow in the final five games of the season.
Last season Maynard hit 19 with Luke Varney notching up 25 in what was a deadly partnership. Varney was sold in the summer for a fee that could total £2.5million and left much debate as to what exactly Maynard is worth in the current market.
The suggested £1million fee does seem a little on the low side for a striker who almost guarantees goals and assistant manager Neil Baker believes that any offer around that mark won't get the interested parties far.
Speaking to The Sentinel newspaper, Baker said: ''I don't know of interest from West Brom. He is someone we obviously want to hold on to and with his potential, I'd be surprised if he was allowed to leave for the amount being talked about.''
With two years left on Maynard's contract there is certainly no rush to let Nicky go, and we soon forget that he only has one and a half seasons of professional football under his belt - with another half spent out injured with a broken leg.
Who knows, if the club are relegated to League Two come May then they may have to shun all the lucrative offers and put the return to League One in the hands of Maynard - a player surely capable of outscoring any other single player in the league below.
First team coach Steve Holland feels that departures will be kept to his choice this summer and feels the whole transfer talk is just to fill the blank pages of the Daily Star.
The Dutchman told the official site: ''As usual you should just take newspaper speculation as simply that. I am not expecting anything to happen regarding Nicky or anyone else for that matter.''
So, can we rest easy this summer and expect to see Maynard in the red of the Railwaymen next season? I reckon so, but maybe for only the first five months.
Date:Tuesday April 1 2008
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