Norwich City transfer rumours: Palace and Sheffield United also keen on Spanish winger
PUBLISHED: 09:10 09 July 2019 | UPDATED: 13:42 09 July 2019
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Norwich City are reportedly leading the race for Spanish winger Javi Ontiveros ahead of Premier League rivals Crystal Palace and Sheffield United.
The report comes from ESPN, who claim the former Spain Under-19 international is interested in a move to England after narrowly missing out on promotion to the Spanish top flight with Malaga last season.
Ontiveros, 21, scored five goals and assisted another four during 34 games last season to help earn a place in the La Liga Two promotion play-offs, which was lost 5-2 on aggregate to Deportivo La Coruna.
However, the tricky winger scored all five of those goals during his last eight appearances of the campaign, primarily playing on the left.
Playing for his local club, having also had a spell with Real Betis as a youngster, Ontiveros was given his first-team debut at the age of 18 by former Malaga boss Javi Gracia - who is now in charge of Watford - after impressing for the B team.
Ontiveros is out of contract next summer so, despite a reported release clause worth around £13.5million, he could be available at a more affordable price.
VERDICT: City chief Stuart Webber is thought to have been considering adding another wide option to the attacking arsenal available to Daniel Farke, with Emi Buendia and Onel Hernandez dominating the wings last season.
Patrick Roberts has been brought in on loan from Manchester City for the season and primarily plays on the right, so competition on the left for Hernandez would seem sensible.
The attacking midfield trio was fairly fluid though and although Marco Stiepermann would begin centrally, he would often drop wide to allow the wide players to drift inside, with his unorthodox style and strength making the German a tricky customer for opponents.
Academy product Todd Cantwell also featured on either wing but can play centrally - and recently signed a new contract - as can Mario Vrancic and Kenny McLean.
City showed with the purchase of Emi Buendia last summer that the Spanish second tier is a league with raw talent which can be developed, could Ontiveros followed in the Argentine star's footsteps?