Norwich City and Nottingham Forest track Arsenal starlet Chuba Akpom on loan
- Credit: PA
Norwich City have been heavily linked with a loan swoop for Arsenal's young striker Chuba Akpom ahead of the emergency deadline on Thursday, after Nottingham Forest boss Dougie Freedman revealed the Canaries were in talks with his number one target.
Alex Neil has made it clear he wants to add fresh firepower, with Lewis Grabban sidelined after ankle surgery and Luciano Becchio seemingly out-of-favour, and although Freedman refused to disclose the identity of his target he did claim the striker was in Norwich for talks ahead of his side's 3-1 Championship defeat at Carrow Road.
City, along with Championship promotion rivals Derby County and Bournemouth, are reportedly tracking the 19-year-old England youth international who has made seven senior appearances for the Gunners this season but has yet to score, with his last appearance coming in the FA Cup win over Middlesbrough at the Emirates.
Akpom previously had loan stints at Coventry City and Brentford last season and Freedman is hopeful he can still persuade the striker to choose the City Ground on loan until the end of this campaign.
'The particular player we are interested in was here at Norwich in the morning talking to them. That is fine. I know there are four teams who are in for him and he will probably choose Monday or Tuesday,' said Freedman, speaking after the game on Saturday afternoon. 'That is the competition we are up against. We are at that level where we are competing with seven or eight teams and it is very hard. The lad Chris Wood, who went to Ipswich, we were in there as well, but it is hard with the finances as they are here.
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'I am going to try my very best to get a striker in and hopefully I got the opportunity to meet up with him and we won't speak about money, we will speak about how I can hopefully develop him. It would be disrespectful of me to say who that is.'
Freedman was convinced Norwich will be in the Premier League next season after the way they pummelled his squad.
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'I felt the better side won the game,' he said. 'Let me tell you very openly that could have been five or six goals but the spirit my lads showed was excellent and they refused to give in.
'Norwich's combination play was key to the outcome and they were fantastic going forward and sometimes you have to take it on the chin - it was at a level that I believe will be and should be in the Premier League next season.
'They are a good team, they have been in the Premier League for a number of seasons, they kept most of that unit and they are aiming higher. Sometimes you have to accept it. That is hard for me to say as a manager but I will take it.'