Norwich City transfer rumours: Croatian keeper a summer option for Canaries and Blades

PUBLISHED: 13:20 24 May 2019 | UPDATED: 13:57 24 May 2019

HNK Rijeka keeper Simon Sluga has been linked with Norwich City Picture: Martin Rickett/PA

HNK Rijeka keeper Simon Sluga has been linked with Norwich City Picture: Martin Rickett/PA

PA Archive/PA Images

That’s according to Goal, who claim a host of clubs are interested in the HNK Rijeka number one, with Sheffield United, Derby and Hertha Berlin named and a fee of around £1.8million suggested.

The 26-year-old has been an unused substitute for Croatia in four matches this season but is yet to earn his first cap. He has been named in the latest squad though, for a Euro 2020 qualifier against Wales and a friendly against Tunisia next month.

Sluga has just played a major role in Rijeka finishing as runners-up behind Dinamo Zagreb in the Croatian top flight, securing Europa League qualification, conceding 41 goals in 41 games in all competitions and keeping 12 clean sheets.

The campaign finished on a high though as HNK beat Zagreb - who have just re-signed Ivo Pinto after his Canaries release - 3-1 in the Croatia Cup final on Wednesday night, with Sluga saving a crucial penalty in the 79th minute to prevent an equaliser with the score still at 2-1.

Standing at 6ft 3ins tall, Sluga came through the youth system at Rijeka and had loan spells at lower levels in Croatia and Italy when he was younger and was capped from U17 level through to U21 by his country.

He has been a regular for the past two seasons though and wore the captain's armband at times for HNK during 2018-19, although Goal also adds he only has a year left on his contract.

VERDICT: Clearly a player who is making headlines in his homeland at the moment and could well be within the age and price range that the Canaries will be targeting for a keeper this summer.

Although Tim Krul is expected to be backed as City's number one after his key role in the club's Championship title success, bringing in competition for the Dutchman would seem sensible.

Veteran keeper Michael McGovern did sign a new contract but it would seem unlikely the Northern Ireland international would be considered as a Premier League number two, while youngster Aston Oxborough is in need of loan experience.

Sluga could well be keen on a move to England but would have to fight for his place, rather than expect to start ahead of Krul, so the link ticks a lot of boxes.

- You can watch a video of Sluga's cup final penalty save above

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