September 18 2014 Latest news:
Sunday, August 31, 2014
Norwich City may be close to completing their central defensive search with Arsenal’s Spanish youth international Ignasi Miquel poised to undergo a medical ahead of a proposed Carrow Road move.
Miquel was first touted with a potential move to Norfolk ahead of City’s 1-1 Championship draw against Bournemouth, with the Daily Mail claiming a £1.5m deal was in place.
City boss Neil Adams would not be drawn on that speculation after watching his side’s draw against the Cherries on Saturday afternoon but did confirm they were in the market for defensive reinforcements following Ryan Bennett’s ankle surgery.
Now Skysports have claimed on Sunday afternoon Miquel is set for a medical prior to completing his move from the Gunners. The 21-year-old centre back is approaching the final year of his current deal at the Emirates, where he has made 11 appearances for Arsene Wenger’s side since making his Premier League debut in 2011. Miquel also has experience in the Champions League and Capital One Cup, but his last first team outing came in a 1-0 Premier League win at Sunderland in February 2013.
Miquel would now appear to be surplus to requirements at the Emirates, with Arsenal bringing in the likes of Southampton’s teenage talent Calum Chambers during the summer. The Spaniard spent last season on loan at Championship title winners Leicester City, where he scored once in 12 appearances.
The 6ft 4in tall Barcelona-born Miquel spent five years at the Catalan giants’ fabled La Masia academy but following his release was picked up by Arsenal.
City have targeted central defensive cover with Russell Martin, Michael Turner and new signing Carlos Cuellar the only fit senior centre backs currently in favour.
Sebastien Bassong has not been involved with the first team during the opening weeks of the new season, with Kyle McFadden making his competitive first team debut alongside Cuellar in the 3-1 Capital One Cup win over Crawley Town.
The Sunday Mirror had also touted Norwich with a potential loan move for Manchester United’s young centre back Michael Keane. The 21-year-old started the recent embarrassing Capital One Cup exit at MK Dons for Louis Van Gaal’s club and also made his Premier League debut as a second half substitute in the 1-1 draw at Sunderland seven days ago.
Keane played 13 league games in the Championship during a three-month loan stint at Blackburn last season and has previously been farmed out to Derby and Leicester City.
Keane is in Gareth Southgate’s England Under-21 squad alongside Norwich’s Nathan Redmond for this coming week’s 2015 Uefa European Championship qualifiers against Lithuania and Moldova.
Meanwhile, Redmond has been the subject of fresh transfer speculation on Sunday with reports Premier League Southampton are ready to test Norwich City’s resolve with a £9m deadline day offer.
Saints’ chief Ronald Koeman has revealed the south-coast club are in the market for a wide player ahead of Monday evening’s summer transfer deadline and Redmond remains one of those touted with a potential St Mary’s switch.
Southampton’s initial enquiry during the close season was rejected by the Canaries’ top brass along with a reported £5m enquiry from Stoke City.
City boss Adams reiterated after Saturday’s Bournemouth draw - Redmond providing the assist for Lewis Grabban’s header - his club do not want to lose any of their key men with City searching for defensive reinforcements ahead of Monday’s cut-off.
Koeman continues to be linked with a host of wide players with Tottenham’s Andros Townsend and Sporting Lisbon’s Diego Capel also reported targets for the Dutchman.
The 20-year-old Birmingham-bred wide player moved to Carrow Road in July 2013 for a reported initial fee of £3.2m. Redmond has now played 39 league games for the Canaries, scoring one goal ironically against Southampton in a 1-0 Premier League win last season.