Norwich City transfer rumours: Reports of offer for French winger wide of the mark

Have Norwich City sporting director Stuart Webber and head coach Daniel Farke got their eye on Alexis Claude-Maurice? 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Have Norwich City sporting director Stuart Webber and head coach Daniel Farke got their eye on Alexis Claude-Maurice? Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Paul Chesterton

Reports that Norwich City have had an offer accepted by Lorient for French winger Alexis Claude-Maurice are understood to be false.

The 21-year-old, who primarily plays on the left, reportedly turned down Arsenal in favour of German club Borussia Monchengladbach, with Sky Sports also claiming West Ham had a £10million bid turned down.

French website Soccerlink claimed City had made an offer yesterday which Lorient president Merlus Lois Fery was satisfied with - but that it wasn't clear whether the player would be interested. Sources close to the Canaries now suggest that report was incorrect.

The former France Under-20 international scored 14 goals and assisted another four during 36 games in Ligue Deux last season, helping his club to finish sixth in the second tier.

Earlier this summer he told L'equipe: "Now I feel like it's time to leave, to join a club that is playing at a higher level.

"I want to join Monchengladbach. It is a club that relies on young people, there is a good structure, the team will play in the Europa League. This project pleases me and suits me."

However, that move to Gladbach hasn't gone through and Claude-Maurice has started the season with Lorient, setting up a goal in a 3-0 home win over Paris FC on the opening day but not featuring in a 2-1 win at Caen on Monday.

Claude-Maurice was also linked with Norwich back in May by L'Equipe, who also claimed that Monaco and Lille were interested in the youngster.

The transfer window close at 5pm tomorrow for Premier League teams, although clubs in Europes other top leagues are free to continue transfer work until early September.

VERDICT: Canaries fans are eagerly waiting for news of another Frenchman this morning, after reports that defensive midfielder Ibrahim Amadou had flown in for a medical yesterday.

If the report of a bid for Claude-Maurice does prove to be accurate then it could well be a similar deal proposed, of an initial loan with a fee, with the potential of a bigger permanent deal should the Canaries survive in the Premier League this season.

The Canaries are reasonably well stocked in the wide areas though, with Onel Hernandez, Emi Buendia, Manchester City loanee Patrick Roberts and academy product Todd Cantwell all taking up those roles during pre-season.

Claude-Maurice would appear to be of the calibre required to offer genuine width to the squad, and City would potentially be able to offer him regular football in the most watched league in the world.

However, the amount of transfer activity around the player this summer and the big fees potentially involved will leave many City fans sceptical about a major addition arriving so late in the window.

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