Norwich City transfer target Jonny Howson undergoing a medical after agreeing personal terms on proposed move from Leeds United
Norwich boss Paul Lambert confirmed on Friday morning Leeds transfer target Jonny Howson is in Norfolk to undergo a medical after agreeing personal terms to join the Canaries.
The 23-year-old is poised to become City's first signing of the January transfer window after the clubs revealed earlier in the week a transfer fee had been agreed. Howson is currently sidelined with a knee injury that has kept him out since early December - but Lambert insisted that is not a concern.
'We've not signed him yet,' said Lambert, at his pre-match press call ahead of Saturday's televised Premier League home game against Chelsea. 'He is down here at the minute. He is going through the medical so hopefully everything goes through. I'm never quite sure of the timescale. I don't know if it will be today or not. I'm pretty sure its nearly there (over personal terms). It's just the medical now but there'll be no problem whatsover (with the injury). I know the extent of it. He is doing really fine at the minute and I have no worries on that. His rehab has gone really well and I don't think he is too far away, which is pleasing. He has to be sure in his own head when he is totally fit and if he is, then we'll look to get him involved.
'I think he has been brilliant for them and being the captain of that football club, where the demands are so high, to be captain at such a young age he certainly knows what he is doing. I just think he'll add goals to the midfield - which I think we need - he can do that. He'll get better as a player going up a higher level. He'll do great for us. If the lad comes and does for us what I think he can do, then he'll be great.'
Meanwhile, Leeds counterpart Simon Grayson has labelled the pending move as the 'best decision for all parties' with Howson out-of-contract in the summer.
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'He's a lad who has come through the system here and is hugely popular and it's always disappointing when someone like that moves on, but it's the right decision for everybody,' Grayson told his club's official site on Friday lunchtime. 'I spoke with Jonny when the offer came in and he's always made it clear he wants to play Premier League football. He wanted to do that here, and while it's what we're striving for we can't guarantee that. An offer has come in from a club who is in the Premier League and now he has the chance to play Premier League football as soon as he is fit again. It's a good decision from our point of view because we've agreed a good deal a player who is currently unavailable through injury, who has six months remaining on his contract, and who could have left in the summer for nothing. That money will go into what we are trying to do here in terms of adding to my squad, and Jonny will go with the best wishes and thanks of everyone connected with the club.'
Lambert also confirmed he has no immediate plans to draft in an experienced keeper with Declan Rudd ruled out for the next couple of months with an ankle problem. Jed Steer was John Ruddy's understudy at West Brom last weekend and the teenager will again be called on for the Blues' visit.
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'There's no plans at the minute to do anything,' said Lambert. 'I have full confidence in Jed and no problems on that score. Jed and Dec are really similar. There is not much between them and you don't know if someone can do it until they get a chance. If I had to put him in (in the Premier League) I would have no qualms on that score.'
Lambert delivered a positive injury bulletin ahead of Chelsea's visit with Marc Tierney available now after his groin injury. James Vaughan and Elliott Ward are also back in full training and could get a runnout in next week's scheduled reserve game against the Blues' second string.