Canaries striker to continue loan with Rijeka
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Josip Drmic has brought an end to his disappointing Norwich City career after a deal was agreed to allow the striker to re-join loan club Rijeka for the final 12 months of his City contract.
The 28-year-old was signed on a free transfer from Borussia Monchengladbach following City's promotion to the Premier League in 2019 but managed just three goals in 24 appearances.
The Switzerland international had 12 months remaining on his Canaries deal but had been frozen out of Daniel Farke's plans following top-flight relegation in 2020 and an unnecessary red card.
It allows Drmic to remain in Croatia, where he had rediscovered some form and fitness with Rijeka, as City prepare for another crack at the Premier League.
The exit of the former Bayer Leverkusen and Zurich forward follows on from last week's news that Marco Stiepermann and Moritz Leitner had also left with a year remaining on their contracts.
The Canaries reached mutual agreements with both players, with Leitner out of favour for 18 months and Stiepermann having endured an illness-affected campaign as he helped secure the Championship title last season. Neither player has yet joined a new club.
Switzerland centre-back Timm Klose and German midfielder Tom Trybull are in similar situations, after loans at Basel and Blackburn respectively, and have also entered the final 12 months of their contracts. It's believed that both remain surplus to requirements.
Drmic arrived in 2019 as competition for Teemu Pukki up front but was looking to bounce back from the injury problems which had pushed his career off course since being among the top scorers in the Bundesliga in 2013-14, when he scored 17 goals for Nuremberg.
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After eight appearances as a substitute and a consolation goal in a 5-1 home defeat to Aston Villa, he spent two months on the sidelines with a hamstring injury.
Drmic returned to contention with City in the thick of a relegation battle and was pushing for a start after a couple of FA Cup goals, in a 2-1 win at Burnley and the 1-1 draw at Tottenham that was followed by penalty shootout success.
However, the coronavirus pandemic brought a three-month suspension and the restart proved ill-fated for Drmic and Norwich, with a frustrated lunge during a 2-0 home defeat to Burnley reducing Farke's relegated team to nine men before half-time, with Emi Buendia already sent off.
He was left out of City's Championship plans and eventually joined Rijeka on loan in January, scoring seven goals in 18 appearances to help earn third place in the Croatian top flight and qualification for the new Europa Conference League.
There was Championship interest in Drmic in January from Birmingham and Huddersfield but the striker - who has family roots in Croatia - opted for Rijeka.
His impact on the pitch may not have worked out but City fans will remember Drmic's attempts at a musical career, with the release of two Europop singles during his time with the Canaries.
Confirming the deal ahead of Rijeka's season starting with a home game against Gorica on July 17, a Canaries statement concluded: "Everyone at Norwich City wishes Josip the very best for the season ahead."