EDDIE Howe has played down suggestions of any animosity between Cherries and Norwich following the Dorset club’s reported pursuit of Lewis Grabban.

Cherries were understood to have been thwarted in their attempts to sign Grabban just minutes before the transfer window had closed nine days ago.

It is believed the Canaries pulled the plug on the move at the 11th hour after they had missed out on signing Crystal Palace striker Dwight Gayle.

To add to the intrigue, Daily Echo sources claimed Cherries turned down an approach from Norwich for Steve Cook and suggested Glenn Murray snubbed the Canaries in favour of a move to the Vitality Stadium.

Cherries head to Carrow Road on Saturday for their fixture since the transfer window shenanigans but boss Howe insisted there was no bad blood between the clubs.

Asked at his pre-match press conference whether he anticipated any frostiness, Howe replied: “I don’t see why there would be. Certainly not from our side and, of course, we hope from their side.

“We are competitors, we are two teams that were in the same league last season and fought a really good battle to try to get out of the Championship and both sides were successful.

“Now we are going against each other in the Premier League, it should be a really good match.”

Asked whether he wished to shed any light on the Grabban saga, Howe replied: “Not really because I don’t think it is right that we do that.

“It is our policy on transfers to not say anything and we only talk about players once they have signed.

“From that moment, I will give you chapter and verse but I don’t think it is right to speculate or talk about peoples’ players.”

Asked about Norwich generally, Howe said: “I think they have made a decent start to the season. It is always tough when you come up to a new league to know how you are going to adapt to the challenges that you are faced with.

“But I think they have proved by going to Sunderland and winning and getting a good draw against Stoke that they are going to be competitive this season.

“When you look at their squad from last season, I wasn’t surprised to see them come up with us. They have a good squad of players and are very well managed so we are expecting a tough challenge.

“We are looking forward to the game. I think it will give us a good marker to see how much we have improved during the summer until now.”