French midfielder signs for Canaries
- Credit: Norwich City FC
Norwich City have completed their third signing of the January transfer window, announcing a permanent deal for young French midfielder Melvin Sitti from Sochaux.
The 19-year-old, who turns 20 next month, has made 13 appearances in the French second tier since emerging from Sochaux's youth system last summer.
The Telegraph reported this afternoon that the midfielder would be arriving and claimed he would be an immediate first-team signing. However, the youngster will see out the season on loan with Sochaux, who currently sit 10th in Ligue Deux.
Sitti has decided to commit to the Canaries despite the club's Premier League future being in doubt amid a scrap for survival, signing a deal until 2024.
City head coach Daniel Farke said: "Melvin is a very exciting player. He's young, talented and we believe he has real potential.
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"He's had some very good experience of first team football in France. We'll give him the time to further develop and an opportunity to impress.
"We're really looking forward to seeing how much further on Melvin can progress and we're all excited to welcome him to Norwich City."
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Sitti came through the youth ranks at CO Vincennes and Paris FC before joining Sochaux in 2017, spending the last two seasons with Sochaux's B team.
Speaking to canaries.co.uk, the youngster added: "I'm very happy and glad to sign for this club. I'm so happy to be a part of the Norwich City family.
"I chose Norwich because I love the way they play. I'm a big fan of the stadium as well. I have taken time to talk to my family and friends and I think it's the best choice for me to come here.
"In football, it's always difficult to change. But that's life and this choice is a positive one. I think I'm going to be very happy here.
"I'm going back to Sochaux to get more experience. I hope to play more games and then I hope I can come back next season and be ready to help the team.
"I can't wait to be here next summer. Before that, I have to achieve my goals in Sochaux by playing more games. But when I come back, I will be ready."
While clearly a signing with an eye on the future, defensive midfield is a looming issue for City, with Alex Tettey soon to turn 34 and the former Norway international's contract set to expire this summer, at the end of his eighth campaign with the club.
Tom Trybull and Ibrahim Amadou are the other current first-team options in defensive midfield but Amadou is on a season-long loan from Sevilla and is reportedly being chased by Italian side Genoa, who are said to be interested due to his limited action for City in recent months.
Another option could be Louis Thompson, who is currently out on loan in League One with MK Dons, while former Arsenal prospect Charlie Gilmour is also a defensive midfielder, currently playing regularly in the Dutch second tier for Telstar.
The arrival of Sitti follows on from a report claiming that Norwich have signed a pre-contract agreement with Luxembourg international forward Danel Sinani, another player who it's expected would be signed with an eye on the future.