Norwich City transfer rumours: Interest in Liverpool right-back
- Credit: PA
Liverpool and Wales right-back Neco Williams is reportedly a player Norwich City have in mind as a potential replacement for Max Aarons this summer.
Canaries fans are focused on the impending departure of Emi Buendia to Aston Villa but were braced for potential departures this summer after sporting director Stuart Webber admitted that high-level interest in some of the club's star players could lead to exits for big fees following promotion to the Premier League.
Aarons and Todd Cantwell were the chief concerns alongside Buendia, with Inter Milan the latest of the big boys added to the long list of clubs reported to be interested in England Under-21 international Aarons, with Roma and Barcelona both previously making approaches.
Should a sufficiently big bid persuade City that it's also time for Aarons to move on this summer, then TeamTalk claim that Liverpool academy product Williams, 20, is seen as a potential replacement.
The Wrexham-born youngster was on the fringes of the Reds' first team this season, making 14 appearances in all competitions, starting two Champions League games and three Premier League matches.
Last year he signed a long-term contract until 2025 and already has 10 caps for Wales. He is currently with his country after being included in their European Championship squad, being controversially sent off via a VAR decision earlier this week after keeping a Paul Pogba shot out with his arms at point-blank range during a 3-0 friendly defeat to France.
He is yet to gain loan experience away from Merseyside but the TeamTalk report claims Norwich and top-flight rivals Burnley are interested in Trent Alexander-Arnold's understudy, with Championship interest coming from Swansea, Cardiff, Barnsley and Stoke.
In recent months the Canaries have also been linked with interest in young Manchester United full-back Brandon Williams, as well as Jayden Bogle following Sheffield United's relegation and Greuther Furth's Marco Meyerhofer, although it's believed that interest has been negated by new work permit rules following Brexit.
VERDICT: It's understood that Williams isn't a player City are actively pursuing at this stage but clearly things could change if the right-back situation were to progress.
If Aarons were to be sold then it's almost certain that City would be in the market for a replacement - although if Buendia's move to Villa does go through, it's far from certain that Aarons would go.
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The right-back is under contract until 2024 so his value to the Canaries will rise once they have banked the initial fee for Buendia, understood to be an initial £30million, with a potential £5m in add-ons to follow and a sell-on fee.
However, Webber and joint majority shareholder Delia Smith have acknowledged in recent months that sometimes players' development outpaces that of their club, so if a club in European competition were to lodge a bid upwards of £30m, he could still move on - either this summer or in January.
As things stand, City have talented 19-year-old Bali Mumba on the books but the former Sunderland talent has limited experience.
Sam Byram is also hoping to return after over a year out due to two hamstring operations, with plans for a full pre-season for the 27-year-old.