Norwich City transfer rumours: Striker and midfielders linked

Barnsley's Daryl Dike during the Sky Bet Championship match at Oakwell, Barnsley. Picture date: Satu

USA international Daryl Dike scored nine Championship goals for Barnsley this season - Credit: PA

The names continue to roll in as Norwich City fans await their club's first signing following promotion to the Premier League.

Since sealing an immediate return to the top flight in mid-April the Canaries have been linked with over 20 players, some believed to be genuine links that have been scouted and others joining the congested transfer traffic generated by agents.

Barnsley striker Daryl Dike was always likely to be a player that was linked if Barnsley's unexpected play-off campaign came to an unsuccessful end - and TeamTalk delivered this weekend as they claimed interest from no fewer than eight clubs.

The physical 20-year-old proved a revelation for the Tykes, scoring nine goals in 22 matches after joining on loan from US side Orlando City, earning a nomination for Championship Player of the Month following fine form in April.

Barnsley's deal reportedly included the option of a permanent deal, which TeamTalk claim was £18million. However, after play-off semi-final defeat to Swansea, that fee is said to be unaffordable for the Yorkshire club.

Having reported a couple of months ago that Manchester United, Chelsea and Leeds were tracking Dike, the website now claims that Everton and Wolves are leading the interest in the striker.

They say fellow Premier League sides Norwich, Crystal Palace, Southampton and Brighton are also 'making enquiries' - as well as West Brom and Fulham following their relegation from the top flight and a host of interest from around Europe.

Two other unlikely links to get a mention this weekend suggested City could be interested in two young midfielders, one on the fringes at Italian giants Roma and the other struggling for game-time at League One side Sunderland.

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Gambian 19-year-old Ebrima Darboe made the breakthrough with six appearances for Roma at the end of the season, including an hour of the Europa League semi-final second leg against Manchester United, when a 3-2 win wasn't enough to overhaul the aggregate deficit.

With Jose Mourinho arriving in Rome and expected to bring in experienced signings, 90min.com claim Darboe has told his representatives that he wants to be playing regularly next season.

The website claims Norwich, West Ham, Brighton, Palace and Southampton would all be keen but also floats interest from Premier League big boys Manchester City, Liverpool and Manchester United.

The other player is 22-year-old Josh Hawkes, who was signed from Hartlepool last summer but hasn't been involved in the Sunderland first team this season.

He has, however, been starring for the Black Cats' under-23s with 14 goals and seven assists from 22 games in Division Two of Premier League Two - including a brace during a 3-2 win over the Norwich U23s at Colney last month.

North-East newspaper the Chronicle claims the Canaries and West Ham are monitoring Hawkes' situation, reporting that Leeds, Newcastle and Palace are interested.

League One rivals Ipswich have also been mentioned after Sunderland boss Lee Johnson said in a recent interview that Hawkes needed to mature physically to make the most of his technical ability.

The Premier League transfer window opens on Wednesday, June 9.

VERDICT: Anything in the region of £18m would seem highly unlikely unless City were to sell two of their crown jewels for big money this summer.

Dike made a big impact in the Championship but Barnsley were playing a very direct style and the Canaries already have a target man in their squad in Jordan Hugill.

It's believed the Canaries are looking for a winger who can compete with Teemu Pukki, Adam Idah and Hugill - although it's also thought Hugill could be allowed to leave if the opportunity for regular Championship football emerged.

Both the midfield links have the telltale signs of agent involvement, trying to ensure there is interest in their client this summer - particularly when such reports feature a long list of clubs said to be interested.

Hawkes could fit the profile of a signing for City's development squad but at 22 years old, it seems highly unlikely, and he certainly won't be stepping out of the shadows at Sunderland and into first-team contention in Daniel Farke's squad.

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