Norwich City have a head-start on their Championship rivals in early transfer market sparring
With four new players already signed by Norwich City during the off-season, David Freezer takes a look at the other business completed so far by the Canaries’ Championship rivals
Norwich City have a head-start on the teams they hope will be promotion rivals this summer, in the early transfer market sparring.
The Canaries have already made four permanent signings since the appointment of head coach Daniel Farke at the end of May, which is only matched by Cardiff City and Sheffield United so far.
Neil Warnock has a big job on his hands to turn Cardiff into promotion contenders and the Blades have just been promoted as champions after six years in League One.
Whereas the relegated Premier League trio of Hull, Middlesbrough and Sunderland are yet to have made a signing ahead of their Championship return.
Hull and Sunderland have bolstered their bank balances with the big sales of Harry Maguire to Leicester for £17m and Jordan Pickford to Everton for £30m respectively.
Sunderland are yet to appoint a new manager after sacking David Moyes and being turned down by Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes due to concerns about an impending takeover.
Hull have brought in former Russia head coach Leonid Slutsky and Boro have appointed Garry Monk following his Leeds exit, so both are likely to be active soon.
Norwich however have already signing forward Marley Watkins on a free transfer from Barnsley and goalkeeper Angus Gunn on loan from Manchester City.
Those have been added to by two signings from Germany, midfielder Mario Vrancic being signed Darmstadt for around £650,000 and Farke signing his former captain Christoph Zimmermann on a free transfer from Borussia Dortmund II.
There has been very little other business elsewhere among teams hoping to chase promotion though, with Aston Villa, Fulham, Reading and Sheffield Wednesday all yet to bring any new players in.
Derby and Leeds have made a signing apiece, the Rams bringing in Curtis Davies from Hull for around £1m and Leeds turning the loan deal of Hadi Sacko into a permanent switch from Sporting Lisbon for a reported £1.5m.
Birmingham City and Wolves both have money to spend as their foreign owners set their sights on promotion and have each made two signings.
Birmingham boss Harry Redknapp has so far signed goalkeeper David Stockdale on a free from Brighton and midfielder Craig Gardner’s loan deal from West Brom has been made permanent.
Wolves have continued their Portuguese influx with the addition of defender Roderick Miranda from Rio Ave, having appointed former Porto boss Nuno Espírito Santo as head coach. They also took advantage of City’s efforts to cut their wage bill, by snapping up centre-back Ryan Bennett on a free.
It is those outgoings which make the Canaries one of the busiest clubs in the Championship so far, as sporting director Stuart Webber revitalises the playing squad.
Bennett was released alongside six other senior players, including John Ruddy, Seb Bassong, Youssouf Mulumbu and Kyle Lafferty.
So in total City have made 14 changes so far bringing in four players and letting go of 10.
Bolton have been the busiest so far with 18 changes but are something of an unusual case following their automatic promotion from League One, as they are operating under a transfer embargo so are having to deal in free agents.
Cardiff have been busy as well, with 15 ins and outs so far, signing four players on free transfer – including former Canaries keeper Lee Camp – and releasing 12, including midfielders Tom Adeyemi and Peter Whittingham.
The only other team to match that busy start to the off-season is Barnsley, who match City’s total of 14 so far, but there is still plenty of time ahead of the transfer window closing at 11pm on Thursday, August 31.
Business so far...
Bolton 17 total (3 signed)
Cardiff 15 (4)
NORWICH 14 (4)
Barnsley 14 (2)
Sunderland 12 (0)
Reading 11 (0)
Aston Villa 10 (0)
Fulham 10 (0)
Sheff Utd 9 (4)
Wolves 9 (3)
Birmingham 9 (2)
Brentford 9 (2)
Millwall 9 (2)
Sheff Weds 9 (0)
Ipswich 8 (1)
Nottm Forest 8 (1)
Bristol City 8 (0)
Burton 7 (2)
Leeds Utd 7 (1)
Hull City 7 (0)
Middlesbrough 5 (0)
Preston 4 (1)
Derby County 3 (1)
QPR 2 (0)
(List updated at 6pm on June 20 for latest signings)