Alex Neil backs former Norwich City number one John Ruddy to land Premier League move

Sunderland are favourites to sign former Norwich City keeper John Ruddy. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Fo

Sunderland are favourites to sign former Norwich City keeper John Ruddy. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images - Credit: Focus Images

John Ruddy is being tipped for a Premier League move, by his former Norwich City boss Alex Neil.

The pair are looking for new clubs this summer after Ruddy was released by the Canaries last week.

Neil is also desperate to get back into work, following his Carrow Road dismissal in March, and the Scot is in no doubt Ruddy will be a valued commodity when he officially becomes a free agent.

New sporting director Stuart Webber revealed earlier this week City's need to lower the wage bill was behind the exit of the former England number one, and Neil backs that policy.

'I think John will be in demand,' he said. 'It won't surprise me if John ends up in the Premier League somewhere. It is rare you get someone like John who is going to be a free transfer and I would be pretty confident he will be able to get himself sorted.

'In my opinion, Norwich will try to find a happy medium, in terms of the wage bill. You can see that already in letting the seven players go they have reduced the wage bill and I think they will try to supplement the squad on lesser wages. Next year will be a big one for Norwich, in terms of getting into the Premier League. They are capable, but if they can get up then they need to consolidate, something I didn't manage to do in my time and that is a regret to me. If not, you end up like a yo-yo club where you can't get the players you need to compete to get up to that standard required.

'Ultimately you come back down and you are chasing your tail. It is a vicious cycle.'

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Neil, speaking on Talksport, is not ruling out a return to management in Scotland after his previous success at Hamilton.

'I am Scottish but I played a lot of my career in England and I just think there are restrictions to managing in Scotland that are not the case down here,' he said. 'England gives you a pathway to build something bigger and there is a lot of scope to move up. To be honest I wouldn't be specific about any one job while people are in that role, because I think that is the horrible side of being a manager. When you leave you have to wait for someone else to lose their job. The way I would see my next job going is a project, like Norwich, that I could work on and help get them to the Premier League. The sooner the better; I would start tomorrow.'