Canaries confirm Drmic loan exit
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Norwich City have confirmed Josip Drmic's loan move to Croatian side HNK Rijeka.
News of the Switzerland striker's switch broke in Croatia on Thursday morning, with reports of a medical being imminent, and Canaries boss Daniel Farke confirmed a deal was close in the afternoon.
The 28-year-old had been searching for an opportunity to build a late push for inclusion in Switzerland's squad ahead of this summer's rearranged European Championship, having played for his nation at the last two World Cups and at Euro 2016.
Drmic was signed by City in 2019 following promotion to the Premier League, signing on a free transfer after the expiration of his contract at Bundesliga side Borussia Monchengladbach. He is under contract until the end of the 2021-22 season.
The move hasn't worked out for the forward and now he joins a Rijeka side sat fourth in the Croatian top flight and chasing Europa League qualification.
RJK won the title for the first time in 2017 but have also been runners-up on seven occasions in the last 25 years, including in 2018 and 2019. Rijeka is in the north-west of Croatia, on the Adriatic coast towards northern Italy, close to the border with Slovenia.
Although born in Switzerland, Drmic's family are of Croatian heritage. He joins on loan with Rijeka reportedly paying a small percentage of his wages, as the striker puts himself in the shop window for the summer as well as chasing an international return. There is no permanent option in the loan agreement.
Norwich have confirmed that the deal has been completed in time for Drmic to be available for Rijeka's trip to NK Lokomotiva on Saturday afternoon.
He scored three goals in 24 games for Norwich last season, starting just seven matches, missing almost two months of the season with a hamstring injury.
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Injuries had ruined Drmic's promising Bundesliga career, with the FC Zurich youth product the third-highest scorer in the German top flight in 2013-14, after scoring 17 goals for Nuremberg, also going on to play for Bayer Leverkusen and Hamburg.
His final appearance for Norwich was during a 2-0 home defeat to Burnley last July, with Premier League relegation already confirmed, when he got a red card just before half-time following a reckless tackle.
City 2019-20 report card: Red card and injuries leave Drmic facing another fresh start
He was left out of Daniel Farke's squad ahead of a return to the Championship but did score twice in two games for the under-23s in September. After a move failed to materialise during the summer transfer window Drmic has since been training individually away from the club.
The winter transfer window doesn't close until February 15 in Croatia, which has allowed the move to go through following the English transfer deadline on Monday. Championship sides Huddersfield and Birmingham had also shown interest prior to the window closing.
- You can watch what Farke had to say about Drmic in the video at the top of this article