BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Charlton Athletic manager Lee Bowyer has admitted it is going to be “difficult” to keep hold of Karlan Grant – with Huddersfield Town pushing hard for a deal before Thursday’s transfer deadline.
The Terriers want to sign the
21-year-old striker, who is out of contract at the end of June.
Grant played in Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Peterborough United and missed a second-half penalty.
The Addicks are in the market for a loan striker with former Greenwich Borough man Mo Eisa – now at Bristol City – one of the players on their shortlist.
But Grant’s exit would hit Charlton’s promotion hopes. He has netted 14 goals for the Addicks this season and struck up a great understanding with top-scorer Lyle Taylor, who is still banned for the next two matches.
Bowyer told the South London Press on Monday morning: “All I can say is he is still our player and we’re fighting hard to keep hold of him. I can’t really say much more, that is how it is.
“Sometimes it is out of our hands. It’s going to be difficult.”
Reports have claimed that Huddersfield are ready to pay £2million for Grant.
Asked if the speculation over a potential Premier League move had affected the forward, Bowyer replied: “Every player is different but I thought Karlan did well on Saturday – he gave everything.
“He didn’t look like a player who was leaving, to me. If that does turn out to be the case then he gave us everything.”
If Grant seals a big-money top-flight switch before this week’s cut-off point for transfers, it will have been some re-emergence under Bowyer. Previous boss Karl Robinson was happy to loan him to League Two Crawley Town last season.
Bowyer brought him back in the summer and made the academy product a starter.
Asked if Grant is ready for the jump, the Addicks boss replied: “If he keeps doing the right things then yeah, he could be ready.
“I can’t see why not. As a striker you have just got to score goals. As long as he gets chances, I believe he will take them.
“But you have to use him in the right way, otherwise you are not going to get the benefit.”
Charlton were linked with Bolton Wanderers playmaker Erhun Oztumer last week.
But the Addicks only have one more loan slot available – with a maximum of five loanees allowed to feature in a matchday 18.
“We like him [Oztumer] but our main thing is to bring in another striker,” said Bowyer. “We only had one on Saturday. Reeco [Hackett-Fairchild] came off the bench but he’s been out injured and was struggling with a bad ankle.
“We have got a list of about five or six strikers. We’ve got to narrow that down. It’s not easy – there aren’t a lot out there. And the ones who are might not suit us.”
PHOTOS BY PAUL EDWARDS