The Carrow Road transfer merry-go-round is still spinning, despite talk of takeovers dominating the Norfolk landscape, but one player strongly linked with City could be on his way to a Championship rival.
Andrew Cole, of Manchester United fame, is thought to be in talks with hometown club Nottingham Forest and some Reds websites have Cole's arrival at the City Ground as “imminent”.
The former Champions League winner ? who was released by Sunderland at the end of last season – had been widely reported to be a target of City boss Glenn Roeder and there were even sightings of 'Goal King Cole' in the city and at Norwich International Airport.
But, wages and the age-old location problem were always going to come into play and while he may still end up a Canary player, it is Forest who now seem to be the favourites for his signature.
“There has been contact with Andy and we will try to follow up on that,” said Forest boss Colin Calderwood recently.
Two other players under Roeder's radar are trialists Bruno Berner and Patrick Barul, who have joined City for the start of pre-season training.
As Ferret revealed yesterday, 30-year-old full-back Barul has arrived from Nice after making eight appearances for the Ligue 1 side last season.
But it appears that Swiss international centre-back Berner, also 30, has joined him at Colney after being released by Blackburn Rovers this summer.
He was an unused squad member of Switzerland's Euro 2008 squad but finds himself without a club after his release from Ewood Park.
Berner moved to Rovers for a nominal fee from FC Basel in January 2007 but he only made two appearances for the East Lancashire outfit and the 6ft 1 defender will be hoping he can resurrect his career in the Championship.
Elsewhere, Alan Gow's move south from Rangers still appears to be in the balance after arriving in Norfolk for talks and the customary tour last week.
The attacking midfielder has already turned down Burnley and it is yet to be seen if he decides to stay with his boyhood idols in a bid to claim a first-team place but it is thought he will still move to England ? with City the red-hot favourites.
“We were in Norwich last week and Alan was impressed with the manager and the setup,” Gow's agent Phil McTaggart told the EDP earlier this week.
“We waited until after the weekend to sort a few things out and we're now waiting to hear from Norwich, but we are looking to take things forward.”
Meanwhile, it was confirmed today that Academy youngsters Declan Rudd and Korey Smith have both signed two-year professional contracts at Carrow Road.
17-year-old Rudd is currently City's No 2 choice goalkeeper after the departure of Matty Gilks as part of the deal that brought Wes Hoolahan to Norwich.
But while Roeder is expected to bring in a more experienced pair of hands as cover for David Marshall, it is clear that the club expect big things from the Norfolk-born England youth international.
“Declan Rudd has already appeared on the bench at the end of last season, which was a great achievement for a scholar and he's also a young England international, so we have high hopes for him,” said Academy manager Ricky Martin on the club's official site.
“Being a goalkeeper you have to be a bit more patient to get your opportunity, but at present there's only David Marshall in front of him and I'm sure Declan's looking to impress the coaching staff over pre-season.
“Declan is a very mature young man who's dealt with international football for three years now, and that brings a lot of pressure as well.
“Along with the pressures of his studies at school, he's also had to deal with international groups and getting into the Academy, so I do feel that he will cope with this pressure equally as well.
“It's down to us sometimes to remind him to be a bit more realistic. He might be looking to break into the first team by Christmas but he's got to understand that, as a goalkeeper, that can take a little bit longer.
“He's got a very good keeper in David Marshall to overcome first. We won't hold Declan back, we won't stop him from having high aspirations, it's just about nurturing him and pushing him at the right time.”
As for 17-year-old striker Smith, he may be a little further from a first-team breakthrough, but after impressing the Canary management team, the Hertfordshire youngster will be aiming to join the likes of Chris Martin, Michael Spillane, Robert Eagle and Luke Daley in making the step up from youth team level.
“It's due to the level of his performances that he's earned himself the professional contract,” Martin added. “He's a great advertisement to the young scholars to know that if you train hard and play well, that can be the indication that you can get a pro contract.
“The manager and the senior staff are happy with what they've seen and they've given him an opportunity to go and work with them on a daily basis and let's hope that with good performances in the reserves, he will get his opportunity this season as well.
“Both boys are very optimistic and we're hoping that both boys will get an opportunity this season.”
Leave a Reply