ANALYSIS: Norwich would like to keep Skipp, but the ball remains in Spurs' court
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Reports that Norwich City have already made contact with Tottenham Hotspur over extending Oliver Skipp's loan shouldn't come as a surprise to anybody.
The 20-year-old has established himself as a key protagonist behind City's march to the summit of the Championship as they continue their push for an instant Premier League return.
When the Canaries' sporting director Stuart Webber, head coach Daniel Farke and the recruitment team sat down to plot their next move after watching their top-flight campaign swirl down the plug-hole last summer, they arrived at the conclusion that the current squad required an injection of energy in midfield.
After being impressed by his performance in the FA Cup tie that saw City conquer Jose Mourinho's Spurs on penalties prior to crowds vanishing and lockdown being a mainstream term and then subsequently in a behind closed doors friendly before Project Restart, Norwich swooped to take Skipp on loan.
Webber's close relationship with Spurs' head of recruitment Steve Hitchen helped with the initial approach, but even then Skipp wanted to conduct a body of research before committing to the loan.
Overall, he spent two months pondering whether to join City, and the race will soon begin as minds wander to next season.
Football Insider are reporting that the Canaries have made a fresh approach to the Premier League club designed to lay the foundations over a possible extension should City gain promotion this season.
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- 4 'I am really happy here' - City star Buendia not worried about speculation
- 5 'Good riddance' - Norwich fans react to European Super League plans
- 6 'I rate him. He's a fantastic player' - Farke open to Skipp return
- 7 Six things you might have missed after City's promotion party
- 8 'Big Six' join European Super League 24 hours after City's promotion
- 9 “It was high on Ben and it was a red card' - Giannoulis bang to rights for Woodgate
- 10 City players greeted by special messages from fan groups
City are keen on extending Skipp's loan, but aren't expecting clarity from Spurs until the end of the season.
There are still many variables involved in any prospective deal.
Mourinho's future as boss in North London is not secure given their struggles in recent weeks. The Spurs manager is looking for a midfield partner to accompany Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, but the ex-Chelsea and Manchester United coach usually looks for solutions within the transfer market.
Skipp is involved in City's push for promotion and Farke will be keen to focus minds, but attentions will undoubtedly have turned to next season.
Farke has already outlined that a permanent transfer would be 'impossible' for City due to their lack of financial muscle, and played down reports of talks last month.
If City do complete the job, then time will be of the essence. Spurs could decide to take a closer look at Skipp before coming to a decision about next season, that is time that the Canaries could use to sign other targets.
There is a tricky predicament for them should that process be halted, do they wait for a decision or look elsewhere? The advantage being that Skipp is a player who wouldn't require a bedding-in period to the same extent.
For Spurs, City's promotion creates a fresh challenge for the 20-year-old that ensures the step into the first-team at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium is reduced.
One thing is for sure, Norwich would like him back. Now it's over to Spurs.