Contracts are under control at Norwich City as exit looms for senior duo
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With news of contract renewals looming at Norwich City, David Freezer assesses the imminent summer changes to Daniel Farke’s squad and the deals already completed by the Canaries this season.
As the season moves into it’s final stages attention is already firmly fixed on who will stay and who will go at Norwich City.
Last season sporting director Stuart Webber set about his changes to the Canaries squad with a decisive announcement of some big name exits, less than a month after his official arrival from Huddersfield.
On May 2, 2017, the new City chief announced that seven senior players – and high earners – would not be getting new deals in the summer, ahead of the final game of the campaign.
That day supporters learned that John Ruddy, Seb Bassong, Ryan Bennett, Youssouf Mulumbu, Kyle Lafferty, Steven Whittaker and Michael Turner were all on their way out.
It was the beginning of a new era, as Webber began reshaping the squad ahead of Daniel Farke’s arrival as head coach, as the Canaries cut costs to deal with the reality of life outside the Premier League for a self-funding club.
Much has happened on and off the pitch since then but there is still plenty to be done ahead of next season.
Long-serving fan favourites Wes Hoolahan and Alex Tettey are the only big names with contracts expiring this summer but it seems likely both have reached their final Canaries chapter.
Hoolahan recently played his 350th game and is due a testimonial at some point in the future after 10 seasons, but the former Republic of Ireland international turns 36 in May.
Tettey has just turned 32 but after six seasons and 176 appearances the former Norway international looks likely to head elsewhere, as City seem unable to maintain his wages and he looks for what is likely to be the last lucrative contract of his career.
That just leaves the loanees. Angus Gunn is expected to head back to Manchester City before searching for a loan with a lower Premier League club to continue building up his international ambitions.
Harrison Reed has a similar long-term deal with a top-fight club, Southampton, but could become available if the Saints are relegated, as looks likely.
While Moritz Leitner has impressed when fit and looks the most realistic to return next season, from Augsburg, with Farke admitting this week he would like to bring the German and Reed back if possible.
Beyond that there are a few fringe and U23 players coming to the end of their contracts, including back-up keeper Paul Jones, who has made one appearance in two seasons and is currently sat on the bench in League Two on loan at Exeter.
Otherwise there has been plenty of positive contract moves from Webber since his arrival, none more so than getting James Maddison and Jamal Lewis signed up until at least 2021 last summer.
Christoph Zimmermann saw his initial deal extended until 2021 after a promising start to life in England and worries about Tom Trybull’s one-year deal – which did feature the option for a further 12 months – were calmed when the German midfielder also signed a long-term deal.
It’s worth highlighting that one-year options are not always in the favour of clubs though, with potential activations such as promotion or a set amount of appearances sometimes in the player’s favour, but these mostly remain confidential.
The only deal fans probably haven’t supported was Russell Martin’s extension until 2019, given the defender’s struggle for form, although the logic of keeping the long-serving skipper did initially seem sensible.
While Martin, Steven Naismith and Yanic Wildschut could all be candidates to be moved on, the contract situation is at least looking under control for City ahead of this summer.
• Norwich City first-team squad contracts (* indicates known extension option)
Goalkeepers: Angus Gunn – 2018 (loan), Paul Jones – 2018, Michael McGovern – 2019, Remi Matthews – 2019*, Aston Oxborough – 2020*
Defenders: Timm Klose – 2019, Ivo Pinto – 2019, Russell Martin – 2019*, James Husband – 2020, Sean Raggett – 2020*, Marcel Franke – 2020*, Grant Hanley – 2021, Christoph Zimmermann – 2021*, Jamal Lewis – 2021*
Midfielders: Harrison Reed – 2018 (loan), Moritz Leitner – 2018 (loan), Alex Tettey – 2018, Wes Hoolahan – 2018, Matt Jarvis – 2019, Todd Cantwell – 2019*, Yanic Wildschut – 2019*, Louis Thompson – 2019*, Mario Vrancic - 2020, Marco Stiepermann – 2020, Onel Hernandez – 2021*, Tom Trybull – 2021*, Josh Murphy – 2021, Ben Godfrey – 2021*, Kenny McLean – 2021, James Maddison – 2021*
Forwards: Steven Naismith – 2019, Nelson Oliveira – 2020, Marley Watkins – 2020*, Carlton Morris – 2020, Dennis Srbeny – 2021*
• Follow Canaries correspondent David Freezer on Twitter @davefreezer