To give credit where it is well and truly due, Norwich City have certainly played their part in the lives of the gossip-mongers over the last seven days and that is for sure.
Gary dealt with the only concrete issue yesterday, the arrival of 22-year-old Spanish prospect Borja Sainz from Turkey’s Giresunspor, the latest in a line of young wingers to arrive at Carrow Road with promise and expectations in abundance.
The reality can often be that these players recently have not enjoyed the success everybody hoped for, but I’ll heartily endorse Gary’s bienvenido, Borja! of yesterday.
I’m moving straight on to a report from Scotland’s Daily Record which suggests that City have joined Celtic, West Ham, and Forest in trying to either buy or bring in on loan Portuguese winger Carlos Borges (top left).
The Portuguese has impressed in the Citizens’ under-21 side, but his price tag could be an issue for Norwich after the report attached an £11million valuation to the 19-year-old, says the Record, which adds that it is unclear whether Borges would be available on a loan deal, with only 12 months left on his current deal at the Etihad.
Yet another precocious young winger with a €10 million golden weight around his neck?
I would respectfully suggest to the Daily Record that while the other three mentioned clubs could afford the youngster and the world and his cat knows that the Hoops will be looking to replace Jota, either Cesare or Lucretia Borja might be closer to the mark when it comes to dear old NCFC!
Another definitely in the building is young Chilean keeper Vicente Reyes, who has joined from MLS outfit [more on one of those later] Atlanta United and will go straight into the development group.
Reyes, who has chosen to play for Chile although he is eligible for the USMNT too as he was born in South Carolina, said:
“I spoke to the keeper coach [Ed Wootten] and said I want to take it day-by-day, and not to get ahead of myself. I can’t wait to get started here.”
And another one for the development squad is in the hutch according to Hamilton chairman Allan Maitland, who seemingly confirmed Norwich City’s signing of the Scottish club’s 16-year-old midfielder Gabriel Forsyth (top right) on the Accies’ official website:
“I would confirm that I have this week reached final agreements with Norwich and Leeds Utd for the formal transfer of Gabriel Forsyth and Josh McDonald retrospectively.” ***
My final piece of media speculation surrounds yet another young winger, this time in the shape of Brazilian Gustavo Mosquito. His club, Corinthians, are hinting that he is now available to negotiate a pre-contract deal with any interested parties, and there are suggestions in the land of the Samba that City are among those interested.
Mosquito has not played since October last year as he recovers from an anterior cruciate ligament injury to his knee.
We’ve been to that particular well too many times for me to hope that anything concrete comes out of this particular rumour, I’m afraid.
Every yin of arrival must of necessity be accompanied by its encumbent yang of departure of course.
Chelsea have finally completed the signing of young forward Alex Matos on a free, despite us paying for 99% of his development. Sometimes football isn’t fair – unless you’re still one of the PL’s big hitters, which Chelsea are despite drawing the curtains on their poorest season in ages, albeit one that we as Norwich supporters would have killed for.
Despite what the odd City fan might think, to finish 13th in the PL is far, far better than to finish in the same position in the Championship.
Much to the chagrin of MFW’s Finnish friend 1×2, Teemu Pukki has chosen to join his Huuhkajat colleague Robin Lod at MLS side Minnesota United. Like 1×2 I was rather hoping Teemu might have chosen something a little bit more challenging but on a personal level there are a couple of leagues out there that he didn’t join for which I am grateful, so good luck Teemu and may you enjoy the rest of your career.
Max Aarons seems to be sustaining the interest of both Fulham and West Ham but despite a bit of low-level pot-stirring out there in the media, nobody has anything of any substance worth mentioning on that front. Max’s 27th and final game for England under-21s is scheduled to be against Israel in Georgia on Wednesday and it is terrific to think that he has been a Norwich City player for all 27 of those caps.
Meanwhile, James Maddison has completed his move to Tottenham.
The midfielder has joined Spurs from Leicester in a deal worth roughly £45 million, which means we will net 15 per cent of £22.5 million, which works out to total over £3 million for City in an important add-on negotiated with the Foxes by none other than a Stuart Webber, who was very much in his prime at the time.
I’ll move onto a trio of confirmed fixtures now if I may, which together amount to a short pre-season tour.
City will face AZ Alkmaar on Wednesday, July 19, the game to be played at the home of Dutch amateur side VV Dirkshorn against a club that finished fourth in the Eredivisie last season and reached the semi-finals of the Europa Conference League.
Eventual competition winners West Ham knocked out the Dutch side in a two-legged semi-final marred by crowd trouble in Holland, of course.
The Canaries then head to Germany to face Christoph Zimmermann‘s newly-promoted Bundesliga side Darmstadt at their Merck-Stadion am Bollenfalltor on Wednesday, July 12 before finishing the trip against 2.Bundesliga side Kaiserslautern on Saturday, July 15.
Back in Blighty, Sky have already been messing about with the domestic fixtures – but quite why these two particular matches have been scheduled for live coverage is beyond me.
Possibly the first is just about fathomable in that we turned in our best performance of the season against Millwall [it didn’t have much serious competition] and it was a cracking game so maybe that’s why the Carrow Road clash has been moved back a day from Saturday, August 19 to Sunday, August 20 with a 1200 kick-off.
Our trip to Bristol City has also been moved back a day, from Saturday, December 2 to Sunday, December 3, this time with a 1330 kick-off. CFC somewhat mysteriously says: “The change comes to avoid a potential clash with an event at Ashton Gate stadium.”
Nope, me neither.
I’ve tried very hard to avoid the issue but cannot totally ignore it. It is quite possible that by the time you read this Leeds United have officially announced the appointment of Daniel Farke as their new head coach. The Leeds lads are smart and realise that it’s a case of where there’s a case of a Farke there might pretty soon be a Stuart Webber.
To Ell and Back [a kind of MFW-ish website with a Yorkshire accent I would guess] came up with a pretty good article on that very subject. I enjoyed reading it and will happily quote author Tim [not Noel the former White] Whelan:
“…All of which sounds very encouraging, given that he [Farke] does manage to get us back into the promised land of the Premier League, the 49ers would undoubtedly be able to call on far greater resources than Delia and Co.
“The only worrying aspect of the above is that Stuart Webber has been reported to be a candidate to be our next director of football. Having just got rid of one DoF with a patchy record in the transfer market, we don’t need another one!”
Now hold on there a mo, Tim. You do need Stuart Webber. You need him more than you could ever imagine. Your Club needs Stuart Webber and it needs him rightnow!!!
There is no Close Season Quote of the Week winner today, more a Polite Exchange of the Week winner, said exchange taking place between MFW reader [and also now writer too] Bernie Owen and yours truly over the weekend about the new away shirt.
- Me: I think this one looks pretty good;
- Bernie: It’s better than last year’s;
- Me: So’s my old leather bike jacket!
Absolutely anybody who has seen me in that jacket will know straight away how much I disliked last season’s away kit
*** I apologise for any suffering caused to supporters of Norwich City Football Club by mentioning ourselves and Leeds United in the same sentence but in the first instance it was a direct quote from Mr Maitland so had to be used in that context.
The second occurrence was equally unavoidable, if only because I enjoyed repeating what Tim Whelan had to say! This topic is going to become hotter than hell itself very shortly and I fear we are all going to have to live with thinking and talking about it for quite a while yet as the reality of a Webber-Farke link-up at Carrow Road will have [possibly dire] consequences for all of us.
I’ll leave you with this, in homage to my infamous leather jacket: