Norwich City transfer window: Possible targets, likely departures and what the Canaries need
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The gossip grinders are set to move into overdrive once again as the hyped up drama of a transfer window returns with Norwich City in need of a few helping hands.
Every inch of the gossip columns within newspapers are brimming with rumours, as supporters search for the latest talent to be linked with their club.
For the Canaries, the state of play in the Premier League means the wheels are already in motion to recruit fresh talent this window.
Stuart Webber has gone on record and expressed the complexities of the winter transfer window but City will be looking to add to their ranks this month.
Their inability to convert positive performances into points has left them rooted to the foot of the Premier League table, with injuries, VAR and other mitigating circumstances conspiring against Daniel Farke's men.
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For Webber and the recruitment chiefs at Colney, the planning has usually been done whilst looking through a long-term lens, but the desperation of City's circumstances mean they can't afford to wait two years for a signing to come good.
City's last Premier League window saw them gamble with the crown jewels and subsequently nearly lose the castle.
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Had it not been for January 2016 recruit James Maddison, the financial situation could have been precarious.
The shackles they placed on themselves following the big money arrivals of Steven Naismith and Timm Klose is often quoted by Farke as the sins they find themselves still paying for.
Lessons have been learnt. That window was the driving force for the revolution that followed, spearheaded by Webber.
The loan market may act as the middle ground between balancing finances and injecting short term depth, especially for any domestic deals City look to complete.
Squad registration regulations also enter the conversation given the Canaries currently have the maximum quota of non-homegrown players, 17, selected.
That would mean any imports from abroad or those who aren't classified as home-grown, will need to replace some operators already registered within their squad.
The prime candidate to drop out would be left-back Philip Heise, who looks set to depart the club on loan.
On the flip side, City have four of their eight homegrown slots selected, given Patrick Roberts' move to Middlesbrough, although they don't have to fulfil all eight slots.
If City sign a player who is under the age of 21, regardless of nationality, then they can be registered as an U21 player, meaning they don't count towards the foreign or homegrown quota.
The benefit of signing young talent is they don't form part of the official 25 man squad City are forced to register at the end of January.
Todd Cantwell, Ben Godfrey, Jamal Lewis and Max Aarons are all registered as U21 players.
An injury-ravaged backline means City may be in the market for a central defender to bolster their options at the back.
With Godfrey and Klose sidelined until February and March respectively, Farke will be hoping for increased defensive cover given Ibrahim Amadou has had to been deployed in that role since his arrival last summer.
Another area City could look to strengthen is the attacking midfield position, given the reliance on Teemu Pukki for goals.
Marco Stiepermann has struggled to make the step up to the top-flight and the need to create more clear cut chances for the Finn is pertinent given his goal scoring return this season. Hull City's Jarrod Bowen is admired by many at Carrow Road but the competition is really hotting up for the free-scoring forward.
The New Year's Day fixture with Crystal Palace exposed the glaring lack of depth City possess in forward areas. When Pukki was forced off due to a slight hamstring injury, it was Stiepermann who replaced him.
The gamble on Josip Drmic is yet to pay off and youngster Adam Idah is primed for a move away on loan - providing City can nurse their first-teamers back to a bill of full health.
Unlike previous windows, City are not under pressure to sell talent. Despite reports linking their top talent away from Norfolk, this seems unlikely given their predicament in the league.
For once, the focus could be surrounding incomings, rather than those who could leave.