Blues boss Keith Curle has admitted that Cardiff striker Rhys Healey is on his January radar.

And the Carlisle United manager has insisted he did not mind news of his interest in the frontman being disclosed by Neil Warnock.

Cardiff boss Warnock claimed last week that Curle had enquired about Healey, who is currently on loan with Newport County.

It came amid a blast at Graham Westley in which Warnock criticised the Newport manager for making Healey give media interviews about interest in him from other clubs.

The 22-year-old was left out of Newport's side for their aborted game against Morecambe on Saturday with Westley claiming his form had been affected by the speculation.

And while Curle claimed Carlisle had not made a formal approach to sign the striker, the Blues boss did ask Warnock about Healey's availability.

Curle, who worked under Warnock at Crystal Palace and QPR, said: "Part of our due diligence is [that] we make enquiries for players we think could add something [to us].

"It wasn’t an official approach. I know Neil very well, and it was a case of finding out the lad's availability - was Neil going to be using him?

"We're [also] respectful of the fact he's a Newport player at present."

While Curle has so far kept other possible targets close to his chest, he said he did not have a problem with Warnock talking publicly about his interest in six-goal Healey, who scored for Newport in Carlisle's only league defeat of the season last month.

Curle said: "I've not listened to [Warnock's press conference], I just got told by Andy [Hall, United media officer] that Neil had mentioned we'd made an enquiry.

"True? Yes it is, very much so. Disappointed? Not really. We like good players and being associated with good players - we're not going to shy away from that."

Plymouth are among the other clubs understood to be keen on the striker.

Warnock was unhappy that Healey had been put in a position where he was asked to comment on Argyle's approach.

After a waterlogged Rodney Parade pitch then saw Newport's home game with Morecambe abandoned at half-time, Westley admitted he had "rested" Healey because of the transfer interest.

"His form has definitely been affected the last couple of games," Westley said.

"He himself talks about his brain being fried by everything. He's a young player and he's not faced this kind of thing before.

"I just wanted to take him out of the firing line, rest him and have him available as a sub.

"He's sorted himself out I think. His mind will be back on doing a job for Newport County by the time we play again."