Stefanovic looks to be heading for City

Michael Bailey Norwich City are on the verge of making Dejan Stefanovic the club's first permanent centre-back signing in 8 years. The Canaries have not secured the services of a specialist central defender on a permanent transfer since Steve Walsh put pen to paper on his transfer from Leicester City to Carrow Road in 2000.

Michael Bailey

Norwich City are on the verge of making Dejan Stefanovic the club's first permanent centre-back signing in 8 years.

The Canaries have not secured the services of a specialist central defender on a permanent transfer since Steve Walsh put pen to paper on his transfer from Leicester City to Carrow Road in 2000.

Although there are believed to be a few details to tie up between the two clubs before the move is confirmed, there is no problem at the player's end and the Serbia & Montenegro international is hoping to sign for the Canaries sooner rather than later.


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But the Fulham connection does not end there.

Stefanovic's 19-year-old defensive team-mate at Craven Cottage, Elliot Omozusi, has also been linked with making the trek from west London to Norfolk, joining on loan as competition for Roeder's only specialist right-back Jon Otsemobor.

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But the veteran defender's move appears to be in its latter stages, as the 33-year-old Fulham star was said to be in Norwich yesterday to undergo a medical - at which point he may well have bumped into Luton Town midfielder David Bell, who is also close to completing his transfer to Carrow Road.

The 24-year-old right-footer was one of Roeder's first transfer targets to emerge during the summer but after initial offers from Norwich and their Championship rivals Coventry City were turned down in May, the Canaries are believed to have got their man for £600,000.

The money is sure to come in handy for the Hatters, whose entire playing squad is up for sale after losing their appeal against a 30-point penalty for financial irregularities and entering administration - a defeat that seems to have greased the wheels in Bell's transfer.

Norwich were staying tight-lipped on when any transfers might be announced, but as Roeder works on his targets behind the scenes, a chat with Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger could be the reason for City's reported interest in Fiorentina striker Arturo Lupoli.

Although Roeder denied any knowledge of the player after his side's first pre-season outing at Gorleston on Wednesday night, the City boss had planned to speak to Wenger earlier in the month and persuade the Frenchman to part with youngster Kieran Gibbs for a second spell on loan at Carrow Road.

And Wenger may well have made a little mention of Lupoli, who turned down a new contract from Arsenal in February 2007.

It is also reported Gibbs' loan move to Norwich could go through once the player returns from the Under-19 European Championships in the Czech Repulic.

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