Dean Smith set to be appointed Norwich City head coach

Aston Villa manager Dean Smith celebrates after the final whistle during the Premier League match at

Former Aston Villa manager Dean Smith is set to be appointed head coach of Norwich City - Credit: PA

Dean Smith is set to be confirmed as Norwich City’s new head coach and his arrival could be announced on Monday.

The 50-year-old will sign a contract until the summer of 2024 and is expected to bring assistant Craig Shakespeare with him from Aston Villa, with Sky Sports and the Telegraph reporting that the deal is done.

City are yet to confirm Smith has been appointed but it's understood a verbal agreement is in place, with the final details to be confirmed ahead of an announcement - with Smith having been in New York visiting his son in recent days.

Bookmakers have also suspended their market on the new Norwich boss in expectation of an announcement, with Smith being offered as the heavy favourite throughout the weekend.

The Canaries dismissed Daniel Farke just over a week ago despite a first Premier League win of the season, with over four years in charge coming to an end for the German after a 2-1 win at Brentford. 

Farke had only signed a four-year deal in July but was removed from his post alongside assistant Eddie Riemer, coach Christopher John and fitness chief Chris Domogalla. 

The last of City’s international contingent are expected to be back in training by Thursday, with Smith’s first game set to be against Southampton at Carrow Road on Saturday. 

Smith entered the race the day after Farke had departed after being sacked by Aston Villa, having led his boyhood club to play-off glory 2019, two successive seasons of Premier League survival and back to Wembley for the League Cup final in 2020.

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However, the West Midlands native had endured five defeats on the spin as a summer of change had seen Villa struggle to build on finishing 11th. 

As well as the £100million sale of star man Jack Grealish to Manchester City, Smith had seen assistants John Terry and Richard O’Kelly move on, with former Leicester manager and assistant Shakespeare coming in.

Injury issues for £25m summer signing Leon Bailey and influential attacker Bertrand Traore had contributed to a sluggish start, with Emi Buendia struggling for form after joining from Norwich in a club-record £38m deal. 

After 139 games in charge, with his team sitting 16th with 10 points from 11 matches of this season after a 1-0 loss at Southampton, Villa decided it was time to make a change. 

All of those 10 points had come during the opening six games of the campaign, with a 1-0 victory at Manchester United following a 3-0 home win over Everton in September. 

However, a 2-1 loss at Tottenham and a 3-2 home defeat to local rivals Wolves was followed by a 3-1 loss at Arsenal and a 4-1 slump against in-form West Ham at Villa Park, with the defeat at Southampton the final straw. 

Norwich also held talks with ex-Chelsea boss Frank Lampard but it’s understood sporting director Stuart Webber is a long-time admirer of Smith’s work at Walsall and Brentford, with Sky Sports reporting last week that Smith had made a very impressive pitch for the job. 

Bodo Glimt coach Kjetil Knutsen is also believed to have been a candidate that City were initially interested in but with two wins still needed to retain the title in Norway and an active Europa Conference League campaign, the vacancy proved ill-timed. 

It is the former Walsall, Sheffield Wednesday and Leyton Orient defender who looks set to take on the challenge though, with City bottom of the Premier League with five points from 11 matches. 

Norwich Head Coach Daniel Farkea and Aston Villa Manager Dean Smith before the Premier League match

Dean Smith, right, is set to replace Daniel Farke as Norwich City head coach - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

After the clash with Southampton, another home game follows the next Saturday, against Wolves, ahead of a midweek trip to Newcastle and a game at Tottenham. 

Smith would become the 46th permanent managerial appointment since the Canaries were founded in 1902 but just the second since Webber's arrival, with Farke's 208 games in charge making him the 11th longest-serving in City history.

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