City sign Stefanovic
Jonathan Redhead Glenn Roeder finally completed the chase for Dejan Stefanovic last night - seven years after first targeting the centre back.The City boss initially eyed-up the Serbian international in 2001 when he was boss at West Ham and 33-year-old Stefanovic was plying his trade in Holland with Vitesse Arnhem.
Glenn Roeder finally completed the chase for Dejan Stefanovic last night - seven years after first targeting the centre back.
The City boss initally eyed-up the Serbian international in 2001 when he was boss at West Ham and 33-year-old Stefanovic was plying his trade in Holland with Vitesse Arnhem.
Back then, Roeder could not afford to sign the former Sheffield Wednesday and Portsmouth player.
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But now Stefanovic has left Fulham to join up with Roeder and City after penning a two-year deal at Carrow Road.
The central defender, who won 20 caps for his country is now expected to fly out to join the City squad on their tour of Sweden along with Fulham right-back Elliot Omozusi who joined the club on a season-long loan deal yesterday.
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“It's great to bring in two players with Premiership experience and their arrival is part of our squad rebuilding ahead of the new season,” Roeder said.
“Stefanovic is a player I tried to sign when I was with West Ham, after he first caught my eye at Vitesse Arnhem.
“I couldn't afford him then, but I have a second opportunity to work with him now and I am very much looking forward to it.
“Elliot is a young player who we've been aware of for some time.
“He's hugely talented and has been known to Lee Clark at Fulham. We hope that, like Ryan Bertrand, we can bring him on as a talent, so that he returns to his club a better player.”
Stefanovic is desperate to help City plot a Premier League return after completing his move.
“I have been in talks for some weeks now,” said the Serbian. “I'm delighted that a deal has finally been struck for me to join Norwich City and Glenn Roeder as we set about challenging for promotion this season. We want to be playing Premiership football again as soon as possible and I would like to do that with Delia Smith's Norwich City.”
The 33-year-old made only 15 appearances at Craven Cottage after a £1m move last season to work with former boss Lawrie Sanchez.
Stefanovic and 19-year-old Omozusi become Roeder's fourth summer signings after the arrivals of Sammy Clingan and Wes Hoolahan.
The duo could link up with Roeder and his squad - subject to Football League and FA ratification of the deals - on the club's mini Sweden tour which starts today against part timers Ahlafors IF.
Meanwhile, Fulham reserve boss Billy McKinlay has given Elliot Omozusi a glowing reference.
The Cottagers' teenager made nine Premiership appearances early on last season but never figured under Roy Hodgson as Fulham plotted a successful late escape from relegation.
“His progress has been what we would hoped for, in terms of the amount of games he's played,” said McKinlay.
“Elliot is only 19 so to play nine times in the Premier League is an achievement.
“He only came out of the team because we needed players of greater experience in our relegation fight at the end of the season.”