Exit is a happy end for all involved in Lewis Grabban saga, says Norwich City boss Alex Neil
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Eddie Howe's courting of Lewis Grabban has not soured relations between Bournemouth and Norwich City.
The south coast club were strongly linked with the City striker in the summer but had to wait until Monday to finally get their man. Grabban's £8million departure was no surprise given the fact he went AWOL in the last transfer window after reportedly trying to force through a return to the Cherries.
But Norwich boss Alex Neil insists he has no problem with his Premier League rivals after completing a deal that he felt made sense for all parties.
'I spoke to Eddie Howe. Eddie wanted the player and we've wanted players at other clubs,' said Neil.
'We've made contact and spoken to clubs to try and get their players. Ultimately what happens is that if the player wants to come to you they get a little bit unsettled but that's the nature of football. It's going to happen at every club up and down the country so there's no ill feeling between us and Bournemouth whatsoever.
'Obviously the Bournemouth saga happened, where they wanted to sign Lewis, and I think at that stage sometimes players get their heads turned and have their heart set on going elsewhere. When that happens it becomes a difficult one because you try to get the best out of the player and try to get them focused on his job but sometimes, certainly in Lewis' situation, there was too much water under the bridge.
'It just made sense – because we were not utilising his talents and we had a commodity there that wasn't supplying anything for us – we needed to get the best value for that and make sure we could try and reinvest it and bring someone in who can contribute.
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'The matter is done, there's no issues with Lewis, he's a good player, and he'll do well for Bournemouth.'
Norwich are believed to have made a £4.5m profit on the 27-year-old, who arrived at Carrow Road from Bournemouth in 2014.
'I'm very pleased to be back here with the lads and back with the manager,' said Grabban – who could be set for an immediate showdown with City on Saturday – speaking to Bournemouth's official website.
'I'm really happy to return and I want to pick up where I left off. It was largely successful at Norwich as we got promoted but this season I had limited opportunities for various reasons. I think I did ok when I came in but now I want to keep progressing with Bournemouth.'