Stuart Webber draws up Norwich City’s transfer plans for the final push; rules out move for Chelsea starlet
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Norwich City sporting director Stuart Webber is targeting two to three new signings in a final flourish to the transfer window.
The Canaries have recruited seven senior players for Daniel Farke’s squad this summer, along with youngsters like Adam Phillips and Tristan Abrahams, but Webber is keen to bolster the German’s ranks ahead of next month’s deadline.
City were interested in a potential loan move for Chelsea’s England U20 World Cup-winner Jake Salter-Clarke, but Webber confirmed that is not going to happen.
“No there is nothing in it now. A player we looked at and who we spoke to Chelsea about,” said Webber, who has already brought in Angus Gunn and Harrison Reed on loan from the top flight. “He is a good player but the issue with Jake would be we can’t guarantee him the game-time that would appease him and Chelsea. If you take lads on loan, especially top young talent from big clubs, they have to play or be very close to it. We looked at the four centre-backs we have got here right now and he might not end up playing as much as he would want. So that is as far as it has gone.
“We have maybe two, possibly three, to bring in. That depends on injuries and how the season starts. There are still a few unknowns in terms of someone like Wes (Hoolahan) or Timm (Klose) or Ivo (Pinto) or Alex (Pritchard) who have missed a lot of pre-season. That will become clear pretty quickly. We have to be open-minded so I won’t put a definitive number on it but two to three maximum.”
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Webber also revealed there are no plans to offload any of Farke’s frontline options.
“Outs, I don’t think there would be anything considerable because we don’t need to sell. Maybe one or two of the fringe lads,” he said. “The squad isn’t that big. If we lost a big player we have to go and replace them. We wanted a tight squad but not to go too far the other way. Listen, you can never say never if a club came and blew our minds with an offer that would allow us to bring in more players. But I have not had a knock on my door by any of the squad for a considerable amount of time saying they are unhappy.
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“It appears everyone is buying into it. They are a happy group of players. We bonded well in Germany, we had a barbecue for everyone at the club last weekend and the board came, the players’ families came. It is a good atmosphere.”
Webber reiterated he does not have a large war chest for the final push following the big money departures of Jonny Howson and Jacob Murphy.
“Let’s say we got £20m this summer in transfer funds, for argument’s sake. The chances are we see £5m or so of that this summer, the same the following summer, and then the same the year after,” he said. “That is how deals are staggered. What you mustn’t forget are players we bought previously, like Yanic Wildschut, Nelson Oliveira, Alex Pritchard, there will be money going out this year from us regarding those deals. It is the hardest thing as a football fan to get and I understand. They see us sell a player for £5m and expect we can go and buy someone for the same amount.
“A lot of the money goes to help us bridge the gap from less parachute money and help bridge the gap to next summer and the potential expenditure. What it has allowed us to do right now is go and bring in players, but the net spend will be lower at the end of this current window.
“We are trying to put a competitive team on the pitch and be mindful of the finances. You could sell all your top players and plug any holes financially, but then you don’t have a team on the pitch.”