Norwich City transfer rumours: Canaries interested in Betis enforcer

Celtic's Liam Scales pulls back on Real Betis' Paul Akouokou during the UEFA Europa League, Group G

Real Betis midfielder Paul Akouokou is reportedly interesting Norwich City. - Credit: PA

Norwich City are interested in signing Real Betis midfielder Paul Akouokou, according to reports from Spain.

Mundo Deportivo have claimed that the Canaries are amongst a number of clubs tracking Akouokou, who has traditionally played as a defensive screener for the back four. Belgian club Genk have also been linked, alongside Betis' La Liga rivals Elche.

The report claims that Los Verdiblancos are keen to offload Akououkou, as his contract is up in 2024 and he's rejected attempts at a renewal. The 24-year-old made only eight league appearances last season, for a total of 518 minutes.

Betis are said to want nearly £6million for their number four, but none of the interested parties are willing to meet their asking price.

Speaking ahead of his side's trip to Cardiff City last weekend, City head coach Dean Smith said: "We're still looking at additions, we're still looking to bring good players and good people into the football club. There are things that are moving on that all the time, and hopefully we'll get them in sooner rather than later.

"We've identified positions, what we need. On those positions there are profiles, and they get whittled down to players. The job of the recruitment team, and Stuart (Webber, sporting director) and Neil (Adams, assistant sporting director) is to contact those players and their clubs and agents, and set the wheels in motion."

Akouokou joined Betis from Finnish second-tier side Ekenas IF, having spent time on loan in the Israeli second division with Hapoel Rishon leZion and Beitar Jerusalem. He's made four international appearances for the Ivory Coast, and played 24 games since moving to Spain in 2018.

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City are also close to signing Chilean international midfielder Marcelino Nunez from Universidad Catolica for a fee reportedly close to £3.3million. Reports from the 22-year-old's native country have suggested he'll fly to the UK on Tuesday to have a medical and become Norwich's third signing of the transfer window.