City edging closer to deal for Giannoulis
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Norwich City are edging closer to signing Greek left-back Dimitris Giannoulis, initially on loan for the remainder of the Championship season.
Reports in Greece claim the deal is done, with MetroSport claiming the PAOK defender is set to travel to Norfolk to finalise a move that will see him join up with Daniel Farke's squad.
A loan fee of €500,000 has reportedly been agreed between the two clubs, with City agreeing to pay €7m to make it permanent should they achieve promotion back to the Premier League, the report claims.
Those figures are believed to be wide of the mark, although the deal is edging closer to completion as City look to be closing in on their first signing of the January window.
Some fine details remain, including whether the deal will include an option or obligation to buy and the conditions of that obligation.
Initial reports surfaced on Thursday afternoon that City held an interest in the defender, but there has been progress on a deal this evening.
Giannoulis is regarded as one of the best left-backs in Greece and has been capped 11-times by the national team. The 25-year-old reportedly has a €10m release clause and has been the subject of interest from Newcastle United and Serie A side Torino.
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PAOK had been reluctant to lose their prized asset but were open to a sale providing the money was correct. He has been at the PAOK since 2014 and has made 77 appearances for the club.
Giannoulis has featured 12 times for PAOK this season, including in their 1-1 draw against Olympiacos on Wednesday evening. He has also played four times in the Europa League group stages for the Greek side this season, as they finished third in Group E behind PSV and Granada.
City have been deploying midfielder Jacob Sorensen at left-back after Xavi Quintilla suffered a hip injury in the warm-up of City's Championship clash against Brentford. The Spaniard returned to action in their FA Cup third-round tie against Coventry on Saturday.
Quintilla's fitness has been a cause for concern for the Canaries and they are actively looking to strengthen that position this month, although it was dependant on the progress of Sam Byram's recovery.
A hamstring injury has ruled the 27-year-old out of action for nearly a year, meaning they will need to approach his recovery with caution. Sam McCallum, another left-back option for City, is currently out on loan at fellow Championship side Coventry.
The Canaries aren't looking to recall the 20-year-old this month. They are pleased with his progression under Mark Robins and are keen to see a defensive improvement from him as the season progresses.
Daniel Farke is hoping to add another goalkeeper to his ranks after Michael McGovern picked up a serious hamstring injury against QPR last month. Former Aston Villa goalkeeper Orjan Nyland has held talks with the club over a potential short-term deal, with both parties now assessing whether a move is right for them.