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RUMOUR MILL: Norwich City track French international defender Michael Ciani

PUBLISHED: 14:59 20 January 2014 | UPDATED: 16:34 20 January 2014

Norwich City boss Chris Hughton has been linked with a transfer move for Lazio central defender Michael Ciani. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich City boss Chris Hughton has been linked with a transfer move for Lazio central defender Michael Ciani. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

©Focus Images Limited www.focus-images.co.uk +447814 482222

Norwich City have been strongly linked with a £2m transfer swoop for Lazio central defender Michael Ciani.

Reports in the Italian media on Monday afternoon claimed the Canaries are poised to open talks over a possible deal for the 29-year-old who is contracted to the Roman giants until 2015. City signed Spanish defender Javier Garrido on a permanent deal last summer from the Biancocelesti after a successful season-long loan stint at Carrow Road and Lazio officials have apparently indicated they are ready to discuss a move for Ciani.

The powerful defender was linked with Celtic last summer after his first season in Italy following a 2012 move from Bordeaux where he made 91 appearances in a three-year stint that also saw him feature in the French club’s Champions League campaign in 2010. Ciani has one full cap for the French national side in a 2-0 friendly defeat to Spain back in 2009 after progressing through their youth ranks.

The Canaries only have two senior recognised centre-backs available at present with Sebsatien Bassong and Ryan Bennett featuring in the weekend’s 1-0 Premier League win over Hull City. Michael Turner is likely to be out for ‘several weeks’ after injuring his hamstring at Crystal Palace on New Year’s Day whilst Dani Ayala is expected to extend his loan stay later this week at Championship club Middlesbrough. Chris Hughton has so far only brought in Newcastle midfielder Jonas Gutierrez on loan in the current window, which closes on January 31.

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