'It was clear if I got the chance, I would come back' - Canaries confirm midfielder's permanent signing
©Focus Images Limited www.focus-images.co.uk +447814 482222
Norwich City have confirmed the permanent signing of Augsburg midfielder Moritz Leitner.
As we reported on Sunday night, the 25-year-old German has joined on a four-year deal from the Bundesliga outfit for an undisclosed fee – believed to be one approaching £1.5m.
Leitner is City’s second senior signing of the summer, following Argentina Under-20 playmaker Emi Buendía’s £1.5m capture from La Liga side Getafe.
“I feel very happy to be here,” said Leitner. “When I arrived here on loan, to be honest I came here because of (head coach) Daniel Farke and (sporting director) Stuart Webber. I had an unlucky situation at Augsburg and the whole family of the Canaries, the supporters, everyone in the dressing room and in training helped me so much and gave me a good feeling.
“So for me it was clear if I got the chance I would come back and help the club to get success.
“I just want to be a part of this club and for sure I’m really happy and also really proud to be here and to wear the shirt.”
Leitner showed glimpses of real quality during his loan from Augsburg over the second half of last season, making 12 appearances and creating several chances during an injury-hit spell.
The prompt timing of Leitner’s move owes to the swift resolution of City’s two big summer sales – Cardiff paying more than £10m for Josh Murphy and Leicester’s £21m swoop for James Maddison; moves that have both eased Norwich’s immediate financial pressure and allowed them to do some summer transfer business.
It also ensured Leitner can join up with his team-mates for the start of the Canaries’ pre-season testing regime on Tuesday.
The Farke factor has no doubt helped secure the permanent signing of a player that helped Borussia Dortmund reach the 2013 Champions League final, before former Lazio man Leitner endured a difficult time at Augsburg.
Farke added: “I’ve made it clear that Mo is an outstanding player with unbelievable technical ability. He’s had two and a half difficult years that meant we could get him here for a loan spell, and you could see how important he can be and what a great footballer he is.
“It’s outstanding to have him here on a permanent signing, and I’m really looking forward to having him in the squad.
“It will be good for him to have a whole pre-season with us. I think there’s even more of him to come, and to step back on to the level he promised in his younger years.
“If he can do this then he will have a big, big impact for our game.”
Leitner joined FC Augsburg from Lazio in the summer of 2017 but made just six Bundesliga appearances before being loaned out to Norwich for his Farke reunion.
“I thank the officials at Augsburg for allowing me to move to Norwich,” said Leitner. “I have got a very good foothold there over the past six months and would like to continue my positive story in England. I wish the FCA only the best for the upcoming season.”
Augsburg managing director Sport Stefan Reuter added: “Together with Norwich City, we have found a good solution for all sides and therefore met Moritz’s change request. We wish Moritz all the best for his future, especially that he will be spared injuries in his career.”
• For the latest Norwich City news and opinion follow Michael Bailey on the following channels…