Exclusive: City on brink of securing midfielder's eye-catching return
PUBLISHED: 18:02 24 June 2018 | UPDATED: 18:07 24 June 2018
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Moritz Leitner is on the brink of a permanent switch to Norwich City.
The 25-year-old German midfielder impressed during his loan spell from Augsburg over the second half of last season.
Now the Canaries are believed to have agreed a deal with both the player and his Bundesliga club, as Leitner prepares for a Monday medical.
Pass that, and the German should be able to join up with his team-mates in time for the start of the Canaries’ pre-season testing regime on Tuesday.
Leitner would be City’s second signing of the summer, following Argentina Under-20 playmaker Emi Buendía’s capture from La Liga side Getafe.
The prompt timing of Leitner’s move would owe to the swift resolution of City’s two big summer sales – Cardiff paying more than £10m for Josh Murphy and Leicester’s £21m swoop for James Maddison; moves that have both eased Norwich’s immediate financial pressure and allowed them to do some summer transfer business.
Having worked with City head coach Daniel Farke at Borussia Dortmund, former Lazio man Leitner endured a difficult time at Augsburg before taking on a temporary reunion with Farke at Norwich.
Something of a coup in terms of his arrival, the midfielder went on to make 12 appearances and create several chances during his injury-hit loan spell – and is now destined to make it a long-term arrangement.
After City’s 2018-19 fixtures were revealed on Thursday, Farke acknowledged he was confident Norwich would make signings “soon” following the completion of big business in the other direction – and a permanent switch for Leitner has been a target for some time.
Speaking back in April, Farke said: “He has proved what he can do but it is a loan and we are addicted to the thoughts of Augsburg and Moritz. What the player wants is also important.
“We have to find a solution with them and the clubs. It is hard work for (sporting director) Stuart Webber but I am sure he will find some good solutions for us in the summer.”
Elsewhere, City have been linked with a loan switch for young Liverpool winger Harry Wilson – the 21-year-old Welshman having caught the eye while on loan at Hull City last season.
But suggestions Norwich are on the brink of signing Wolves wide man Ben Marshall are believed to be premature.
City are interested in bringing the 27-year-old to Carrow Road – but there remains plenty of competition to land a player that helped propel Millwall from midtable to Championship play-off contenders during his four-month loan at The Den.
With Murphy’s departure and City cutting their losses with Marley Watkins, who joined Bristol City in a £1m-plus switch this month, Norwich are expected to be on the lookout for fresh wide reinforcements during the summer transfer window.
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