Hannover announce permanent signing of Canaries defender
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Hannover have announced the signing of Norwich City defender Marcel Franke on a three-year contract.
The 26-year-old spent last season on loan in the German second tier with Darmstadt and is heading straight back to Bundesliga II with Hannover, who have just been relegated.
The centre-back had told Darmstadt he was keen to try and force a Premier League opportunity with the Canaries following their promotion but his permanent exit has now been announced in Germany - although City have not confirmed the news yet.
Franke, pictured holding a Hannover shirt, told his new club's website: "Hannover 96 is an established club with a lot of tradition that is just starting to reinvent itself, with very exciting and ambitious ideas behind it.
"The people in charge convinced me from the very first interview the transfer worked out."
Franke was signed from Greuther Furth in the summer of 2017 by City in a deal reportedly worth around £2.5million but has spent most of the intervening time back home in Germany.
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He started the first five league games of Daniel Farke's reign but a 4-0 defeat at Millwall brought big changes and with Grant Hanley signed from Newcastle the defender returned to Bundesliga II with Dynamo Dresden for the second half of 2017-18.
He then returned to the German second tier on loan with Darmstadt last season, with a view to a permanent transfer reportedly agreed at around £1m, and made 27 appearances.
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Hannover managing director, Martin Kind, said: "With Marcel Franke we have a physically strong centre-back for us to win, he knows the second division very well and knows what is needed to play there successfully."
With the article also confirming that Franke had passed a medical this morning, head coach Mirko Slomka added: "We looked for a modern type of defender and found him with Marcel, bringing with him everything you need in terms of game understanding and top-level tackling, so he's also one of the most brilliant fits for us."
The German leaves having made a total of eight appearances for the Canaries, the last of which was as a late substitute during a 3-1 win at Brentford in the League Cup third round in September 2017.