Alex Neil confirms Norwich City are closing in on Steven Naismith deal and he is interested in Wolfsburg defender Timm Klose
18:03 16 January 2016
©Focus Images Limited www.focus-images.co.uk +447814 482222
Alex Neil revealed he finally hopes to complete a protracted move for Everton midfielder Steven Naismith after watching Norwich City’s 3-0 Premier League defeat to Bournemouth.
Neil confirmed City is in advanced discussions to seal a reported £8m move for the Scottish international, and the Canaries’ chief also made it clear he is interested in Wolfsburg defender Timm Klose.
The Germans’ sporting director, Klaus Allofs, was quoted in the German media on Saturday morning saying the clubs are close to reaching an agreement for the Swiss international defender.
“There is an interest but I can’t say any more than that at this stage,” said Neil, following Norwich’s 3-0 defeat on the south-coast. “Until it is done I can’t tell you anything about anything. You hear so much and read so much speculation that we have been linked with players. Some of it is an absolute nonsense and other parts and rumours are true. We are trying to do our business. Regarding Steven, at this moment I can say nothing for definite. There has been a lot of talk about this deal but until things are complete and its over the line there is not much to say.
“It has been nearly there for the best part of two weeks now so we’ll wait and see. If I knew what the hold up was I would tell you. He is an established Premier League player who has played at this level for a number of years. He has got goals, he is versatile, he can play off both flanks, he is determined, he is an international, he is a good lad off the pitch. There is a whole host of reasons why I would be interested.”
Neil also indicated Gary Hooper’s future could be resolved in the next few days after the Sheffield Wednesday loanee finished his current Hillsborough stint with a match-winning brace to beat Championship rivals Leeds United earlier in the day.
“At this present moment there is no news, but I would expect some news about that in the next couple of days or so,” he said.
Owls’ counterpart Carlos Carvalhal reiterated after Hooper’s brace he wants the striker to stay in Yorkshire.
“He was my first choice since the beginning and I’m sure he’s happy here,” Carvalhal said. “He’s scoring goals because he’s enjoying the way we’re playing. The negotiation part is out of my hands. I’m an optimist about the situation because the player likes to be here and enjoys the way that we play. I advise my technical team but I’m not involved in negotiations. I don’t get involved in money or agents. With this, it’s in the hands of the chairman.”
Neil, meanwhile, admitted Norwich were second best against the Cherries.
“It wasn’t a good afternoon for us,” he said. “We didn’t perform well enough. Bournemouth deserved their win. We didn’t do ourselves justice, anywhere near recent weeks. It was simply too many poor performances. We didn’t compete well enough, our use of the ball wasn’t good enough and we didn’t defend our box well enough. Combine all of that at this level and you will find it extremely difficult to win any game at this level.”