Amid the excitement of a positive start to the season and changing ownership structure, it's almost been lost that Norwich City have a change in sporting director on the horizon.

Stuart Webber's March resignation means he's only got six months left to serve of his notice period at Carrow Road, with a shortlist of potential successors already drawn up by the club's board.

The appointment of one of those names before that period ends would likely signal an early departure for Webber, with a short handover phase to bed the new arrival in.

Undoubtedly central in that handover period would be discussion over the club's various contractual situations. The first stage of City's personnel overhaul may have been completed this summer, but they face a number of squad-building decisions in the near future.

Seven Norwich players are out of contract in nine months' time, with two of them long-term seniors at the club.

Ben Gibson, signed from Burnley in 2021 after a title-winning loan spell, is one of those, and David Wagner's choices this season have complicated those proceedings.

Gibson was virtually cast aside at the end of that last Premier League tilt, with former head coach Dean Smith picking five-foot-nine career full-back Sam Byram over the experienced defender.

That appeared to spell the end of Gibson's short and contrasting spell at Carrow Road, but he survived another year and has found himself first choice under Wagner.

Club captain Grant Hanley's long-term achilles injury undoubtedly contributes to that, and the signing of Danny Batth from Sunderland will jeopardise it. 

But Gibson's status as a key player in the Canaries' impressive start to the 2023-24 campaign does throw a spanner in the works regarding the clarity of the decision around him.

Where months ago it may have been a clear-cut one on an injury-prone 30-year-old out of favour, the distinction must now be made between temporary form, necessity and long-term applicability.

The Pink Un: Ben Gibson has become a first-choice defender under David Wagner.Ben Gibson has become a first-choice defender under David Wagner. (Image: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd)

Jacob Sorensen is another whose contract is currently set to expire, although his deal does include an option to extend until 2025.

Many will look at this simply, and describe the Dane as a footballing Polyfilla, yet to find his role in the team and best served advancing his career elsewhere after a similarly injury-stalked City spell.

That's to ignore the nuance, however, with Sorensen a consistent source of false dawns and signs of what he could amount to. The 25-year-old someone the club saw great potential in when signing him in 2020, and he's shone in defensive midfield at times. He even did so in the Premier League under Smith.

But an assessment will need to be made as to whether Sorensen will ever deliver on that promise, firstly in regard to that extra year.

Dimitris Giannoulis is one of three left-back options out of contract next year, with Sam McCallum and Przemylsaw Placheta also free to talk to overseas clubs in January as things stand.

There's limited time for summer arrivals Batth and Adam Forshaw to prove they're worthy of a year's extension, with only 12 months on their initial free signings this summer.

With others ahead of them they face a battle to do so already, but the onus now is on them as opposed to Webber and his successor.

That's not the case for Josh Sargent, however, whose recent long-term ankle injury highlighted quite how important he's become in NR1. The devastating impact of that blow will awaken those behind the scenes to the need to tie him down, as will late-window interest from Leeds United.

Under the club's current model retaining his value is also important, and they'll be keen to avoid the situation faced when Todd Cantwell's value tumbled due to his contractual status.

Early signs this season suggested he wouldn't fall into the same performance trap Cantwell did, but vultures are already circling over a man with several highly sought-after attributes.

The American wasn't the only City player linked with Leeds this summer, either. Angus Gunn was reportedly a target for Daniel Farke after he helped sign the Scottish international twice for Norwich.

The 27-year-old's growing profile is one of a number of reasons why Webber & Co will be keen to tie him down to a contract beyond 2025, as well as his highly impressive performances in yellow and green thus far.

Young goalkeeper Dan Barden is another to keep an eye on, with his contract up next June and a long-term knee injury preventing him from impressing in the last few months.

But the name on every fan's lips will be Jonathan Rowe, whose first professional contract is up in 21 months and remains the one he's on to this day.

With international recognition now gained in the form of an England under-20s call-up, it won't be long before bids are fended off from English football's elite clubs, and City are undoubtedly best placed to do that with more than two years left on his contract.

The Pink Un: Jonathan Rowe is out of contract in 2025.Jonathan Rowe is out of contract in 2025. (Image: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd)