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Norwich City will not be caught short with out-of-contract stars

PUBLISHED: 06:00 24 March 2017 | UPDATED: 14:27 24 March 2017

Youssouf Mulumbu is attracting reported interest from Fulham. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Youssouf Mulumbu is attracting reported interest from Fulham. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

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Norwich City's new managing director Steve Stone insists it is business as usual regarding a number of the Canaries' first team squad out of contract this summer.

Youssouf Mulumbu is out of contract in the summer. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images LtdYoussouf Mulumbu is out of contract in the summer. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Alex Neil made it clear on his final day in the job a major summer overhaul was needed, and Stone confirmed work is on-going ahead of the appointment of a sporting director and head coach.

The likes of Michael Turner, Youssouf Mulumbu and Seb Bassong are out of contract in the close season, while City’s top brass must decide whether to take up options on John Ruddy, Ryan Bennett, Declan Rudd and a number of younger players.

“Myself and Ricky Martin are meeting with representatives of the players who need decisions this summer,” said Stone. “Carlton Morris was a good example of that. We met his agent and we did that deal. There are on-going discussions with agents, going right through to the summer now, where we have options on some players that we may or may not choose to trigger. Until the new structure is in place I will continue to do that.

“A lot of it will depend on the requirements of these two key roles and how the people who come in envisage the squad moving forward. We are in a position now where a number of the higher-earning players are coming to contracts that expire in the summer, which is helpful to us. So it is really about re-shaping what is required.”

City still have an outside shot at the Championship play-offs but Stone reiterated the Canaries will draw up contingency plans for whatever league the club is in next season.

“A big element of my previous role and a major element of the new role is looking at what cash we have got, looking forward a number of years, being prepared for different scenarios and different leagues,” he said. “We don’t know which league we are going to be in next year at this stage but I am prepared whatever league it is. We are in a financially good position. We do not have any debt, we have a working capital overdraft facility and that is it. At the same time, as I said at the AGM before Christmas, if we don’t get promoted this season or next it becomes more challenging after that because we don’t have the parachute payments, and we have to work around that.

“I will set the parameters in terms of the financial aspect for the football side. We know what they are within a pretty close range when we approach the new season. Then it is up to the sporting director how best to utilise those funds.”

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