Cureton slaps in transfer request

COLCHESTER United suffered a body blow last night when star striker Jamie Cureton handed in a transfer request.The Championship's Golden Boot winner, who plundered 24 goals last season, still has a year to run on his contract at Layer Road.

By Carl Marston

COLCHESTER United suffered a body blow last night when star striker Jamie Cureton handed in a transfer request.

The Championship's Golden Boot winner, who plundered 24 goals last season, still has a year to run on his contract at Layer Road.

But the 31-year-old has made it clear that he believes his future lies elsewhere, and there should be no shortage of clubs scrambling to buy him over the next few weeks.


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Cureton explained his decision by claiming the club are not ambitious enough.

He said: “Having thought very carefully over my future, I have decided to ask for a transfer away from Colchester United.

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“Talks over a new contract broke down several weeks ago and the club's failure to re-sign several key players has convinced me to make this decision.

“I remain very ambitious in my football career and it is clear to me that my ambitions are not matched by the club and I hope that they respect my decision and allow me to move on.”

The U's would undoubtedly want a fee for star man Cureton, if he is granted his transfer request. He arrived from Swindon last summer, and has since been scoring goals for fun, netting hat-tricks against Derby and at Southend.

The Essex club finished an excellent 10th in their first ever season in the

Championship, but it has already turned sour this summer, due to the number of high-profile departures.

Cureton's strike-force partner, Chris Iwelumo, signed for Charlton Athletic in a three-year deal last month, and yesterday left-back Chris Barker, who spent last season on loan with the U's, put pen to paper at QPR.

It had been hoped that Barker would sign permanently with United, after being released by his former club Cardiff City, but the 27-year-old has opted to sign a two-year deal at Loftus Road instead.

However, the news that Cureton has handed in a written transfer request is the biggest blow of all.

The ex-Norwich City, Bristol Rovers and Reading front-runner has scored at an average of more than a goal every two games for Colchester, with 31 netted in 56 appearances.

Cureton had already hinted that he was not happy with the club's failure to agree new terms with Iwelumo and Richard Garcia, who both became free agents this summer. Garcia is currently considering his options.

On hearing of his good friend Iwelumo's move to Charlton, Cureton rued: “Perhaps the club could have done a little more to try and keep him.

“Once his contract had been allowed to run down to less than six months, he was always likely to go. That ploy can often backfire.”

Now Cureton himself has decided to head for the exit.

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