Rumoured City target moves to AZ Alkmaar
- Credit: Archant
Reported Norwich City target Sam Beukema has completed a move away from Go Ahead Eagles to sign for Dutch top-flight side AZ Alkmaar.
The highly-rated 22-year-old was linked with the Canaries last Friday by Dutch outlet De Stentor, who also claimed several Eredivisie sides were watching his progress for the second-tier high flyers.
Instead, the defender, who has played 28 times and is currently Go Ahead Eagles top-scorer with seven goals, has earned himself a move to the two-time Dutch champions. He has penned a five-year-deal at the club.
Alkmaar have reportedly beaten off interest from Feyenoord, FC Utrecht, FC Groningen and FC Twente to land the highly-rated ball-playing centre-back.
Beukema is a player who has admirers in City's recruitment team, but the new Brexit regulations mean he would have failed to amass enough points to attain a GBE, which is required for a player to be eligible to play in English football.
The 22-year-old is expected to be a long-term successor to former Aston Villa captain Ron Vlaar, who retired last month. Stoke defender Bruno Martins Indi, currently on loan at the AFAS Stadium, is expected to return to the Championship side upon the expiry of his loan deal in the summer.
Speaking to the club's official website, Beukema said: “It really couldn’t be better. I have signed a contract with this wonderful professional club. It is a very nice day for me. I have had conversations with Feyenoord, but the plan is the most important for me. AZ really wanted to sign me, so I made my choice on that basis.”
City are without on-loan Burnley defender Ben Gibson for the remainder of the season after it was confirmed he would require ankle surgery after being stretchered off against Blackburn.
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The 28-year-old will complete a permanent move to Carrow Road should the Canaries achieve promotion from the Championship this season. Christoph Zimmermann is primed to replace the ex-Boro star in the heart of the defence at Deepdale on Good Friday.