Norwich City link to Boyata

Paddy Davitt Norwich City boss Paul Lambert has been linked with a late transfer window loan raid for Manchester City's exciting teenage defender Dedryck Boyata. City's Championship rivals Leeds and newly promoted Newcastle are reportedly tracking the Belgian teenager ahead of today's deadline - although the loan window re-opens again early next month for prospective suitors.

Paddy Davitt

Norwich City boss Paul Lambert has been linked with a late transfer window loan raid for Manchester City's exciting teenage defender Dedryck Boyata.

City's Championship rivals Leeds and newly promoted Newcastle are reportedly tracking the Belgian teenager ahead of today's deadline - although the loan window re-opens again early next month for prospective suitors.

Lambert confirmed prior to the weekend draw at Nottingham Forest that he had not ruled out freshening up his squad following the arrival of West Brom centre-back Leon Barnett. The Baggies' defender started at the City Ground but Lambert is still short of senior central defensive cover with injured duo Michael Nelson and Zak Whitbread sidelined.


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The versatile Boyata can also operate at right-back and has made seven appearances since graduating from the Eastlands club's highly regarded academy set-up - including both legs of last season's Carling Cup semi-final against neighbours United.

The 19-year-old was included for the recent Europa League success against Timisoara but remains well down the pecking order at Roberto Mancini's star studded Eastlands outfit.

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Boyata was omitted for the weekend Premier League defeat to Sunderland, despite his goalscoring outing in the 2-0 home win over the Romanians as part of a strong City line up that also featured Patrick Vieria and Emmanuel Adebayor.

The highly rated teenager admitted after his seasonal reappearance first team chances could again be limited to cup action.

“I will have to wait for League games, but in the Europa League, FA Cup and Carling Cup I'm hoping I can get my chance and replace players who are rested,” he said. “Thursday was a good chance for me to play, and I'm happy with how I did. With those players around you, they make it easy. Patrick and Ade, they all talk and help you a lot. But it's going to be harder to get a game.”

Mancini handed the 6ft defender his senior debut in last year's FA Cup win at Middlesbrough but is now reportedly willing to sanction a loan move to aid Boyata's development. Mancini allowed former England U21 defender Nedum Onuoha to join Sunderland on a season long switch prior to the new campaign.

“Dedryck is a young player who played many times in the first team last year,” said the Italian. “This year, he worked very well in pre-season and on Thursday played very well because he was ready and is a serious guy. But he can improve.”

Boyata was a key figure in the all conquering Man City youth team which won the FA Youth Cup in 2008 and knocked out a young Canaries side featuring Korey Smith, Decland Rudd and George Francomb at the quarter-final stage the following season.

Boyata's immediate priority is helping Belgium reach the European U21 Championship finals by beating group rivals Slovenia later this week.

“If we win, we go through, so in a way it's a bigger game than Timisoara was,” he said. “I've missed out on the European finals in the past when we failed to qualify by one goal, so I'm really up for this match. I'm dreaming of playing for the seniors, but I'm not that close - they have got some good players in my position who play regularly.”

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