Norwich City transfer rumours: Schalke keeper close to sealing loan move
PUBLISHED: 16:33 03 July 2019 | UPDATED: 16:41 03 July 2019
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Reported interest from Norwich City in Schalke goalkeeper Ralf Fahrmann has picked up considerable momentum throughout today, with German media outlets now claiming a loan switch is imminent.
Reports emerged last week that Norwich were trying to persuade the 30-year-old to consider joining their Premier League campaign, as competition for current number one Tim Krul.
German newspaper Bild now claim that will be a season-long loan switch, without a permanent deal being prearranged - pointing out, rather strangely, that the player's wife had followed the official Norwich City account on Instagram.
The former Germany Under-21 international has spent the majority of his career with the Gelsenkirchen club and has almost 200 Bundesliga appearances on his CV, having also spent two seasons with Eintracht Frankfurt.
However, after wearing the captain's armband for the first half of a disappointing last campaign, he spent the second half either injured or playing second fiddle to highly-rated youngster Alexander Nubel.
Schalke slumped from runners-up in the German top flight in 2018, to finishing 14th, despite reaching the first knockout stages of the Champions League - when they were thrashed 10-2 on aggregate by Manchester City.
Former Huddersfield boss David Wagner has since been appointed and the Canaries are due to face Schalke in a pre-season friendly during their training camp in Germany later this month, on Friday, July 19.
Fahrmann was a team-mate of City's star striker Teemu Pukki between 2011 and 2013, with German reports also suggesting the keeper is friends with Norwich coach and analyst Christopher John.
VERDICT: It always seemed likely that City would need to bring in strong competition for Krul, who signed a new contract to extend his deal until 2022 following last season's Championship title triumph.
The former Dutch international previously suffered a serious knee injury, which brought an end to his successful spell at Newcastle, so good quality cover would seem sensible at the least.
Krul also endured some shaky moments during the promotion campaign but had largely rediscovered some good form and won over Canaries fans by the end of last season, so is still likely to begin the campaign as Daniel Farke's number one.
Equally, Fahrmann's career has wandered off course, and Farke has become something of an expert in rehabilitating players with top-level potential - with Krul, Moritz Leitner, Marco Stiepermann and Tom Trybull some fine examples.
Veteran keeper Michael McGovern did also sign a new deal earlier this year to keep him at City until 2021 but it is understood he will be third choice, with U23 keeper Aston Oxborough set to head out on loan.