Norwich City transfer rumours: Canaries interested in Luton midfielder
- Credit: PA
Norwich City are reportedly among the clubs monitoring Luton Town's defensive midfielder Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu, who is free to talk to clubs ahead of his contract expiring.
Football Insider claim the Canaries are alongside Premier League side West Brom and Championship promotion rivals Swansea in showing interest in the 26-year-old.
Mpanzu has made over 270 appearances for the Hatters since initially joining from West Ham on loan in 2013, with the deal made permanent in January 2014, helping to seal the Conference title and promotion back to the Football League.
He's scored 19 goals and claimed 30 assists during his time at Luton and the report claims the Bedfordshire club may be forced to cash in, rather than risk losing him on a free transfer this summer when his contract expires.
Mpanzu was an ever-present as the Hatters won the League One title in 2019, scoring five goals in 46 games, and remains an important part of Nathan Jones' team - starting 21 league matches so far this season.
He missed the 3-1 league win over Norwich at Kenilworth Road in December but was brought down by Mario Vrancic for the penalty which opened the scoring during the 3-1 home win over the Canaries in September, in the first round of the League Cup, and was also involved in the build-up to the second and third goals.
The Londoner also has experience at centre-back and played a crucial role in helping Luton to escape the drop last season, winning the Luton Town Supporters' Trust's Player of the Season award.
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Hatters boss Jones spoke to Luton Today about Mpenza in October, saying: “He has fantastic energy, he’s a powerhouse, he scores goals from midfield, I can play him anywhere and he’ll adapt.
"He lifts my environment every single day, he works hard, he has quality, he’s a driving force.
“Of all the stuff he hasn’t got, he’s got 100 attributes that I absolutely love.”
VERDICT: Has achieved a lot with the Hatters and after seven years at the same club, may well feel it's time for him to try and prove himself at a bigger club with Premier League aspirations.
Defensive midfield is also a position that City will clearly be making plans for, with midfield stalwart Alex Tettey out of contract this summer and no guarantees that Oliver Skipp would return on loan from Spurs even if promotion to the Premier League was secured.
Jacob Sorensen has impressed as left-back cover this season but the Denmark Under-21 international hasn't really had the chance to show what he can do in midfield yet this season, while French defensive midfielder Melvin Sitti hasn't featured for Belgian loan club Waasland-Beveren after an early-season hamstring injury.
Mpenza may well be a player the Canaries are aware of but a January move seems highly unlikely. His agent will no doubt want his client's name circulating, with his contract expiring and the potential of a significant wage increase.
Not the first player with an expiring contract to be linked with Norwich recently though, with Brentford midfielder Emiliano Marcondes and Lincoln midfielder Jorge Grant in similar situations, which often leads to transfer speculation.