Who are the free agents that Norwich City could be in for this summer?
PUBLISHED: 07:00 21 May 2017 | UPDATED: 09:31 21 May 2017
Every club is looking for a bargain this summer and Norwich City are no different. Mark Armstrong looks at the free agents available this summer
It’s no secret that money is going to be tight at Carrow Road this summer. The 2016/17 season didn’t work out how anyone of a yellow and green persuasion would have wanted.
And with just one more year of parachute payments to come, a lot of which will be needed to service a squad that maintains a Premier League edge, City are going to have to be canny in the area of recruitment.
Given City’s track record in the transfer market in recent seasons, you would be forgiven for worrying about such a prospect.
A head coach is yet to be appointed but sporting director Stuart Webber has his men in place to try and improve a squad that’s seriously underachieved this season.
City have already beaten off interest from a number of other Championship clubs and are on the verge of signing Marley Watkins on a free transfer.
So with that in mind we thought we would give the Canaries a helping hand and take a look at some other free agents coming to the end of their contracts this summer.
David Stockdale (Brighton)
Already a favourite of the Barclay thanks to his ‘helping hand’ in City’s 2-0 win over Brighton towards the end of the season, the former Fulham man admits his future is “up in the air” at the moment. Has been linked with several clubs already this summer and seems likely that he will be playing in the Premier League somewhere next season. But if City do want to bring in a bit of experience to challenge Declan Rudd for the number one jersey then Stockdale has very good pedigree.
Zeki Fryers (Crystal Palace)
There’s a gaping hole in the left side of Norwich City’s defence with Harry Toffolo their only recognised left back on their books. Many fans would like to see Mitchell Dijks turn his loan move from Ajax into a permanent one but the Dutchman is likely to attract Premier League interest this summer. Former Manchester United trainee Fryers has found first team opportunities limited at Selhurst Park this season and manager Sam Allardyce is yet to offer the youngster a new deal. At 24 he could fit the profile of player Norwich City are looking to attract although there would be interest from other Championship clubs.
Gaetan Bong (Brighton)
Norwich City know all about the Cameroon international after he played a major role in the 5-0 demolition of the Canaries last season – a result that had such a profound effect on the Canaries’ season. Helped Brighton to promotion but is yet to be offered a new deal by the Seagulls. The 29-year-old suffered a knee injury in January that kept him out for three months but returned before the end of the campaign and was part of the Brighton side that beat Wigan to seal promotion. Attack-minded and could tick a lot of boxes in the refresh of City’s squad this summer.
Another player with Ipswich Town connections but if City are on the lookout for a gnarled centre-half, who enjoys defending, then Delaney could fit the bill. At 35 he’s coming towards the end of his career and doesn’t appear to have a future at Selhurst Park given the Eagles are desperate to turn Mahmadou Sakho’s loan move from Liverpool into a permanent one this summer. But in the same way Norwich got a tune out of Dion Dublin at the end of his career, Delaney is capable of doing a similar job.
Grant Leadbitter (Middlesbrough)
With doubts surrounding the futures of Jonny Howson and Graham Dorrans after they were linked with Leeds and Rangers respectively, City could find themselves in need of another midfielder this summer.
If City want a competitive edge then Leadbitter could certainly fit the bill, although whether fans would forgive him for his spell with Ipswich Town earlier in his career would be interesting.
But he’s been there and done it having won promotion from the Premier League with Sunderland and Middlesbrough.
City could do a lot worse if Middlesbrough don’t offer him another deal this summer.
Adam Le Fondre (Cardiff)
Scoring goals wasn’t a problem for the Canaries last season. However, they could still do with a different type of striker to complement the physicality of Camerone Jerome and the cultured style of Nelson Oliveira. Alex Neil was desperate for a fox-in-the-box striker and was very keen on bringing Dwight Gayle to Carrow Road before he ended up at Newcastle. Neil has gone but the problem remains – City could still do with a predator and Adam Le Fondre showed in his loan spell at Bolton last season that he maintains an eye for goal, scoring six times in the second half of the season.