Rumour mill: Italian defender Andrea Ranocchia reported to have turned down £8.3m move to Norwich City
Inter Milan defender Andrea Ranocchia has reportedly turned down a transfer to Norwich City.
Analysis: Are Norwich City in the market for a new centre-back?
Andrea Ranocchia may have reportedly turned down an £8.3m move to Norwich City but is news of an approach from the Canaries a telling indicator?
The centre-back’s agent is said to have been approached about the move, so is City boss Chris Hughton scouring the continent for a new defender?
Only Fulham have conceded more goals than the Canaries in the Premier League so far this term, conceding 44, with City tied as second worst on 32 goals with Sunderland.
With Hughton confirming yesterday that Michael Turner has a hamstring injury which will rule him out for “a number of weeks”, he could well need defensive reinforcement.
Sebastien Bassong has struggled to find the same consistency which earned him the club’s player of the season award in 2012/13 and 23-year-old Ryan Bennett has had a mixed season when called upon.
Hughton appears to prefer Russell Martin at right-back and Spanish centre-back Dani Ayala, 23, looks set to extend his loan deal with Championship side Middlesbrough, which currently expires on January 24.
Ranocchia may not be the man to help improve that record but it looks likely Hughton is looking for a top-level defender to help push his side away from the Premier League trapdoor.
Italian football website Tutto Mercato claims that a deal for the 25-year-old centre-back, capped 15 times for Italy, was in the offing with a transfer fee of €10 million, around £8.3m.
Ranocchia, who has played 74 times for Inter and stands at 6ft 4ins tall, was linked with a move to Chelsea in December and is out of contract with the Serie A side in the summer of 2015.
He has played 12 times for Inter so far this season, scoring once and picking up six yellow cards in the process, including starting in his side’s 1-0 defeat to Lazio on Monday.
Tutto Mercato claims Ranocchia’s agent was contacted by an agent about the possible transfer but that the Italian defender rejected the move immediately.
Ranocchia was a regular for Inter last season as well, playing 39 times and scoring twice, again with a poor disciplinary record of 12 yellow cards.