Despite there being many clubs waiting, patiently, in the wings, it is believed that Norwich still head the the queue for Fraser Forster’s services in 2010/11.
The Newcastle United goalkeeper was consistently outstanding last season during his loan spell in Norfolk, and City boss Paul Lambert doesn’t mince his words when talking about the 22-year-old, labelling him “world class” on many occasions.
The highly-rated Hexham-born stopper won the Golden Glove award in League One last season after keeping 22 clean sheets and the Players’ Player of the Year at the Norfolk club.
As a result, the Canaries have already declared their ambitions to take him back for a second year on loan at Carrow Road.
With Declan Rudd deemed a little raw for Championship football and fellow prospect Jed Steer still learning the ropes, it is clear that Lambert and Co are pinning their hopes on the 6ft 6in shot-stopper returning for a second tour of duty.
But Toon boss Chris Hughton has a tough decision to make, with three excellent ‘keepers on the books at St James’ Park. According to some, Forster is getting close to pushing both Steve Harper and Tim Krul at first-team level.
With the Geordies back in the Premier League, Hughton knows he needs plenty of options if they pick up an injury or two. After all, you can’t sell yourself short when mixing with the big boys.
But the Newcastle Chronicle believes that while Forster will get his chance during some pre-season friendlies this summer, he is likely to return to Norwich in time for the start of City’s Championship campaign.
“Norwich is a very good option for Fraser, but I expect him to have a few and there are decisions to be made,” said United chief Hughton.
“His progress in the last 12 months has been fantastic and, as with all players, you look to see development each season. His stats at Norwich last season speak volumes for just how well he’s been doing.
“And for me it was no surprise to see him pick up such good accolades. He deserves all the praise he gets after a great season.”
However, Hughton says that “big decisions” will have to be made at the Toon, with Dutch ‘keeper Krul also in demand.
Krul played the role of United No.2 last term behind Harper, but Hughton refused to rule out the possibility of him heading out on loan this time instead, leaving man-in-demand Forster to back up Toon stalwart Harper.