Summer sales begin with departure of City keeper

Goalkeeper David Marshall became the first major departure from Norwich City's senior squad in the wake of relegation when he completed a move to Cardiff City last night.

Goalkeeper David Marshall became the first major departure from Norwich City's senior squad in the wake of relegation when he completed a move to Cardiff City last night.

The 24-year-old Scotland international had a medical in South Wales yesterday and agreed personal terms with the Bluebirds, although neither club would expand on the transfer fee, which is said to be a “six-figure sum”.

In the wake of the 4-2 defeat at Charlton 10 days ago that marked City's Championship exit, Marshall said he did not expect a mass exodus of top players from Carrow Road.

But his own departure is likely to be the first of several high-profile moves during the summer, with Derby heading the queue for out-of-contract winger Lee Croft and Northern Ireland midfielder Sammy Clingan another prime target after being linked with Premier League Fulham in January.

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Cardiff missed out on a play-off place by the narrowest of margins - by one goal on goals scored - and manager Dave Jones was quick to make a goalkeeper his top priority, with Marshall his first signing of the summer.

His agent, Willie McKay, said: “He's really delighted to be coming to a great club like Cardiff City.

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“Cardiff City is potentially a big, big club and all they need to do is step forward into the Premier League and I think they'll be there to stay.

“I'm sure that David will be a big fans' favourite. I always thought that David would play in the Premier League at some stage and I hope it's with Cardiff City.”

Marshall first joined City on loan from Celtic in January 2007, but injury in an FA Cup fifth round tie at Chelsea restricted him to just five senior appearances. Former boss Peter Grant snapped him up on a permanent basis in the summer of 2007 in a deal believed to be worth nearly �1m.

He was City's only ever-present in the past two seasons, making a further 100 appearances in all competitions, and in recent weeks was elevated to the Scotland number two role, following the international ban on Allan McGregor.

Marshall admitted last week that City's relegation to League One could mean the end of his Carrow Road stay.

“I want to play at the highest level as quickly as I can,” he said. “If a club came in I would be silly to turn it down and stay in a lesser league, but the right move has got to come up.”

Marshall's exit means the only senior squad 'keepers left at Norwich are Stuart Nelson, who is out of contract this summer, and teenager Declan Rudd, neither of whom have played a first team game for the club.

Of the other senior players who could follow him out of the door, Wes Hoolahan has been linked with Crystal Palace - in a possible swap deal for striker Alan Lee, who has expressed a desire to turn his loan move at City into a permanent deal - and midfielder Matty Pattison may move on if he continues to be left out of the first team picture, but City will be lucky to recoup the reported �500,000 they paid Newcastle for the midfielder.

Whatever money comes in from transfers goes straight into the playing budget, which is expected to be used at the lower end of the footballing ladder.

Manager Bryan Gunn has already recruited Cody McDonald from non-league Dartford. Striker Billy Clarke, released by Ipswich, is set to snub City and join Brentford.

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