July 29 2014 Latest news:
Monday, July 2, 2012
Norwich City boss Chris Hughton has clinched his first Carrow Road signing and is reported to be lining up a second.
Hughton snapped up Scotland defender Steven Whittaker over the weekend and it’s believed he is close to capturing the signature of out-of-contract Jacob Butterfield from Barnsley.
Whittaker, 28, was a free agent having rejected the transfer of his contract to the newco Rangers, following the Glasgow club’s takeover.
The 6ft 1ins Edinburgh-born defender, who has mostly played at right-back, has signed a four-year deal with the Canaries, subject to international clearance.
Whittaker, who has picked up 15 Scotland caps, enjoyed a successful five years at Ibrox following a £2m move from Hibernian, winning Scottish Premier League titles, Scottish Cups and three Scottish League Cups.
Canaries manager Hughton said: “In Steven we have a player who is very versatile – he can play anywhere across the back four and anywhere across midfield, so there’s plenty of versatility there.
“It’s probably a good time for him. Sometimes it is time to move on to a different club and go there with a lot of enthusiasm and he has international experience too.
“He has of course been used to playing at a very high level when he was at Rangers and in a lot of big games with a passionate crowd behind him.
“So the stage of the Premier League is certainly one that won’t faze him with his experience.”
Whittaker, who also appeared in Rangers’ 2008 UEFA Cup final defeat by Zenit St Petersburg, said: “All of my experience to date has been in Scotland so I am really looking forward to the challenge of playing in the Premier League, I’m very excited about it.
“When I spoke to Chris Hughton I was very impressed with his plans to progress Norwich City and everyone I’ve spoken to in the game has had nothing but praise for the club and the city of Norwich.
“I know Simon Lappin from a few years back and of course I know Russell Martin from Scotland and I am looking forward to meeting up with the squad and the staff.”
Meanwhile, midfielder Butterfield was reportedly set to announce where his future lies today.
The 22-year-old, who has been sidelined with a knee injury since New Year’s Eve, has been the subject of intense transfer speculation due to his contract running out at the end of June and while a new deal offered by Barnsley remained unsigned on the table.
He has been linked with a host of clubs including Newcastle, Sunderland, Everton and Reading, while there have also been reports in recent days that he could sign a new contract at Oakwell after being impressed with manager Keith Hill’s summer recruits.
Reports now suggest, however, that looks like not being the case with Norwich manager Hughton set to pounce for the England Under-21 international who is now a free agent.
Hughton saw the qualities of Butterfield first hand last season when he scored against his then Birmingham City side in a 1-1 draw at St Andrews in September.
The Canaries will be forced to pay some sort of compensation fee as Butterfield is under the age of 24.