Ten potential free agent targets for Norwich City this summer as Premier League and Championship released lists are published
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As released lists are made public and free agents become available, DAVID FREEZER searches for possible summer bargains which could suit Norwich City’s revamped Championship approach
It can be a stressful time for players but the annual publication of release lists can give football fans plenty to digest during the summer months.
As transfer speculation ramps up and hopes of what might be to come next season grow, fans go searching for bargains.
The Premier League and Football League have both now published their lists of players being retained or released.
We already know Norwich City’s released list features long-serving players including goalkeeper John Ruddy and centre-backs Ryan Bennett and Seb Bassong.
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Those players have generated plenty of interest among opposition fans, with Ruddy in particular linked with a host of clubs and Bennett snapped up on a free by Wolves.
The Canaries have also made a move on that front, announcing that forward Marley Watkins will be joining when his Barnsley contract expires at the end of this month.
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As the former Swansea trainee is 26 years old, clubs were free to offer him terms as his contract neared its end, but if players are under 24 then compensation will be due to clubs if they have made a contract offer of their own.
There were over 200 on the Championship released list and over 100 on the Premier League list, with some of those featured soon resolving their future, such as midfielder Steve Sidwell soon re-signing for top-flight new boys Brighton.
There are plenty of youngsters who will have to drop through the leagues in search of regular football and some who are reaching the end of their careers.
For instance, former England midfielder Scott Parker has been released by Fulham but will be 37 in October so is unlikely to be coming back to Norwich, where he played on loan briefly back in 2000.
City have already made it clear they need to slash their wage budget and sell before they can spend much in the transfer market, with sporting director Stuart Webber and head coach Daniel Farke setting about creating a younger and hungrier squad.
Here are 10 options from those released lists which could suit Norwich this summer.
• Free agents
Josh Scowen (Barnsley) – Similarly to Canaries signing Watkins, the 24-year-old right winger has decided not to sign a new deal and is reportedly wanted by Fulham and Aston Villa.
Jason Lowe (Blackburn) – Rovers captain, 25, has opted to move on after more than 200 appearances in seven years for his boyhood club. Former England U21 international is a physical central midfielder with bags of experience, previously linked with West Brom.
Michael Kightly (Burnley) – Former Wolves winger, 31, showed he still has miles left in the tank when scoring four goals in 12 games to help Burton survive in the Championship last season. Has been linked with a reunion with Mick McCarthy at Ipswich.
Bruno Manga (Cardiff) – Gabon international centre-back, 28, was a £4million signing from Lorient following relegation from the Premier League in 2014 but Bluebirds have been unable to agree a deal with their star defender.
Joe Ledley (Crystal Palace) – Experienced midfielder, 30, has over 70 Wales caps and leaves Palace despite making 22 appearances last season. Tough tackler who has been linked with a host of clubs including Celtic and former club Cardiff.
Fraizer Campbell (Crystal Palace) – The 29-year-old could offer City a different forward option, although he scored just once in 13 games for Palace last season and may expect top-flight wages, with his hometown club Huddersfield already linked.
Vurnon Anita (Newcastle) – Dutch midfielder, 28, played a key role in helping Newcastle win the Championship title but has been released after five years with the club. Wages could be costly.
Danny Williams (Reading) – One of the stars of the Royals’ season, which ended in play-off final defeat. German-born USA international midfielder, 28, has been offered a new contract but is mulling over his options.
Tom Adeyemi (Rotherham) – Canaries academy product has already been linked with Norwich and Ipswich. Released by Cardiff despite impressing on loan at Rotherham, the strapping midfielder, 25, scored six goals in 29 games for the Millers.
George Brady (Sunderland) – France-born centre-back, 20, was signed from Chelsea two years ago, stands at 6ft 4ins tall and is the nephew of West Ham vice-chairman and TV star Karren Brady.