Norwich City close in on Marcel Franke
PUBLISHED: 22:48 13 July 2017 | UPDATED: 22:55 13 July 2017
German defender Marcel Franke is set to become Norwich City’s seventh summer signing.
The strapping centre back is believed to have agreed a Carrow Road move from Bundesliga Two club Greuther Fürth, to become the latest import to join Daniel Farke’s Canaries’ revolution.
Sporting director Stuart Webber revealed on Thursday night at a packed fans’ forum a fresh piece of business was imminent, and Franke would appear to fit the bill as he prepares to make the same move to England as ex-Borussia Dortmund II defender Christoph Zimmermann.
The 24-year-old made 31 appearances for Fürth last season, who finished eighth in the German second tier, and had been touted in his homeland as a potential replacement for FC Union Berlin’s Toni Leistner - a player linked to Norwich earlier this week.
Franke’s pending arrival underlines Webber and Farke remain in the business of adding to City’s squad for a Championship promotion push following a day of fevered speculation surrounding Jacob Murphy’s future.
The England Under-21 starlet is poised to return to pre-season training on Friday after an extended break following his involvement in the European U21 Championships, with Newcastle reportedly ready to step up their interest.
Webber reiterated at the fans’ forum Norwich will only sanction departures on their terms, after playing hard ball in a protracted deal that saw Jonny Howson leave for Middlesbrough last week.
The north-east media claim Murphy is open to a Newcastle move, and the Magpies’ are ready to return with an increased offer after an initial £8m enquiry received short shrift.
The Newcastle Chronicle report Rafa Benitez’s club is willing to pay £10m up front, with the entire fee guaranteed at the outset, but the Premier League new boys are unwilling to go any higher.
That is believed to be well short of City’s valuation for a highly-rated 22-year-old who embellished his reputation on duty for the Young Lions in Poland, following a breakthrough season for his club. Murphy’s impressive domestic campaign saw him sign a new longer term Carrow Road deal in November, which runs until at least 2021. The attacking midfielder has also been touted with Crystal Palace and Southampton this summer.