Norwich City transfer rumours: Deal for Sunderland academy prospect is close

Bali Mumba, left, in League One action for Sunderland against Charlton Athletic Picture: Graham Stua

Bali Mumba, left, in League One action for Sunderland against Charlton Athletic Picture: Graham Stuart/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Norwich City are reportedly trying to seal a deal with Sunderland for England Under-19 international Bali Mumba.

The 18-year-old came through as a midfielder for the Black Cats, making 10 appearances since first appearing briefly as a 16-year-old in a Championship game two years ago, a few months before sitting his GCSE exams at school.

However, his only senior appearance this season came in the EFL Trophy group stages, starting at right-back in a 3-2 win over Grimsby and then continuing to mostly play in that position for Sunderland’s under-23s.

The Sunderland Echo report that Norwich are in talks over a deal worth in the region of £500,000, with Mumba having a year left on his contract, with an initial fee to be agreed alongside performance related add-on fees.

The Black Cats are facing a third successive campaign in League One after missing out on the play-offs following Tuesday’s vote for the division to be settled on a points-per-game basis, seeing them finish eighth and just a point outside of the play-offs.

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However, Mumba finished his season on loan with Northern Premier Division leaders South Shields, scoring two goals in three matches before the season was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The teen had been playing as a winger but has loan experience was thwarted, with leagues at step three of non-league and lower being declared null and void, denying South Shields promotion.

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VERDICT: Picking up good young talent is a clear part of City’s model as a self-sustainable club, with the emphasis on academy success shown by the progress of players including Todd Cantwell, Max Aarons, Ben Godfrey and Jamal Lewis in recent years.

Godfrey is a good example, having been signed from York City in a deal reportedly worth up to £1million as an 18-year-old, while Aarons and Lewis were both signed after previously being on the books at Luton Town.

Mumba has been capped regularly at youth levels by England, playing alongside Canaries U23 midfielder Dan Adshead at U18 and U19 level, and having played in a variety of positions it would seem he has raw materials which can be sculpted.

With Sunderland facing another year in League One and facing more changes in the boardroom, with their owners reportedly looking to sell after another disappointing campaign, it could well be a good time for City to swoop.

Although equally, news of their interest leaking in the local media in the north-east would suggest the Black Cats are also trying to prompt interest from other clubs who have been monitoring Mumba.

- You can see a winner Mumba scored for South Shields against Nantwich in the video above

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