Long term deal for Dieumerci Mbokani is not top of Alex Neil’s agenda at Norwich City

Norwich City's on-loan striker Dieumerci Mbokani went close in the first half of the Canaries' Premi

Norwich City's on-loan striker Dieumerci Mbokani went close in the first half of the Canaries' Premier League game against Southampton with a near post effort. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Completing a permanent deal for Norwich City's on-loan striker Dieumerci Mbokani is not Alex Neil's priority in the upcoming January transfer window.

Mbokani capped arguably his best display for the Canaries since a summer move from Dynamo Kiev with a close range header to seal Monday's 2-0 Premier League win over Aston Villa. City have negotiated an option to keep the DR Congo international striker beyond this season, but after Matt Jarvis clinched a long term move over Christmas, Neil insists there are no imminent plans to follow suit with Mbokani.

'There is something in place in the current deal,' said Neil. 'He has not been playing on a regular basis, perhaps to the same extent that Jarv was when he was available before his injury, so I still think we have a bit to go in terms of getting to that stage. His English is coming on, he has trained hard since he came in and I was really pleased for him at the weekend.

'With Matt's signing we have the potential now to bring in another loan player, which we didn't have before, which is useful, and we also bring in a lad on a permanent who has been very good for us.'

Neil admitted Mbokani would be an asset to any top flight side after terrorising struggling Aston Villa.

'If he puts in performances like that he could be a big factor in how we perform,' said Neil. 'That number nine becomes a really crucial player in the system we use and how we try to deploy it. I thought he carried out the task extremely well against Aston Villa. When balls do go up to him he is a handful in the air and he wins his fair share of headers. He is also a key man in our box. On set pieces he gives us another physical presence. There was an incident in the second half when Micah Richards gave away a foul jumping for a header, but if it had not been a big player marking him on the corner, Micah maybe gets over the top and scores. If you have someone who is 6ft 2in and powerful you use them.'

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