Canaries are not pursuing January deal for Reading star

Oliver Skipp of Norwich and John Swift of Reading in action during the Sky Bet Championship match at

Reading star John Swift, right, tussling with Norwich midfielder Oliver Skipp at Carrow Road last season - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Reports claiming that Norwich City are among the Premier League clubs interested in signing Reading star John Swift in January are understood to be inaccurate.

The claim originated from Football League World earlier this week, reporting that the Canaries are alongside Wolves, Crystal Palace and Burnley in monitoring the creative midfielder’s situation, with his contract due to expire next summer.

The 26-year-old former Chelsea trainee has racked up seven goals and five assists in just 10 Championship matches for the Royals so far this season - but we understand City are not currently chasing his signature.

Reading are reportedly close to a points deduction due to breaching the EFL’s profit and sustainability rules, with their overspending bringing an embargo that limited their transfer business this summer. 

That could be six or nine points, with the Berkshire club currently 11th in the table under Veljko Paunovic after finishing seventh to miss out on the play-offs last season. 

Star man Michael Olise was sold to Crystal Palace for £8million after being named EFL Young Player of the Season and Swift has shaken off his injury problems to assume the role of chief creator that he had earlier in his Royals career. 

Playing as a central attacking midfielder, the former England Under-21 international scored a hat-trick in a 3-3 draw at QPR earlier this month. 

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Swift had a successful Championship loan at Brentford during 2015-16 and reportedly rejected a contract offer from Chelsea to join Reading. 

He has 30 goals and 30 assists to his name from 173 games for the Royals but only managed 14 appearances last season due to hamstring injuries. 

VERDICT: Such a signing is unlikely to be a priority for the Canaries at the moment, as they strive for a first point of the Premier League season after six successive defeats. 

Todd Cantwell and Kieran Dowell are similar players to Swift, as technical attacking midfielders, but have been on the fringes so far this season. 

For Cantwell that has mostly been due to a change of shape, with Daniel Farke initially using a 4-3-3 with Cantwell as a right winger, but he missed Saturday’s 2-0 loss at Everton due to personal reasons.

That has changed to a 3-5-2 for the last two games, which doesn’t appear to benefit two players seen as being best suited to the traditional ‘number 10’ playmaker role. 

Should the season continue to prove disappointing then Swift could well be a player that the Canaries are interested in if he was available as a free transfer, if the club is heading back to the Championship. He is understood to not currently be a January target though.

City signed wingers Milot Rashica and Christos Tzolis this summer, with forward Josh Sargent also able to play wide and Poland international Przemek Placheta also closing on full fitness after Covid-19 symptoms. 

Two other attacking midfield options were also allowed to head to the Championship, with Onel Hernandez and Danel Sinani on loan at Middlesbrough and Huddersfield respectively. Mario Vrancic and Marco Stiepermann were released after promotion.  

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