Search to bolster squad goes on for busy Norwich City

Ivo Pinto has signed a three-and-a-half-year deal with the Canaries, with the deal reportedly worth

Ivo Pinto has signed a three-and-a-half-year deal with the Canaries, with the deal reportedly worth around £2.2million. Photo: Danny Lawson/PA Wire - Credit: PA

City boss Alex Neil's desire to get his business done early is continuing to throw up names in the club's search for reinforcements this month.

The rumour mill has been whirring around nicely even at this early stage and it is no secret that City boss, Alex Neil, is looking to bolster his squad.

The Scot is reportedly close to completing the signing of Dynamo Zagreb full-back Ivo Pinto and, according to sources, a £2.2m fee has been agreed with the Croatian club. Barring any hiccups, the Portuguese international could be in the building before the end of the week.

One name that has continually cropped up recently is that of Andrea Ranocchia with several reports claiming the Italian international had turned down a £7.3m the Canaries in favour of a move to Bologna. However, whilst the club could bring in another centre-half this window, it is understood that Ranocchia isn't, and never has been, a name on the club's wanted list. Midfielders chipping in with goals over the Christmas period has perhaps tempered the desperation amongst some supporters to see another striker arrive.

However, it would be no surprise to see another forward added to the ranks with Dwight Gayle and Charlie Austin back on the radar according to several media outlets.

Gayle came close to signing for City at the end of the last window only for it to fall through at the 11th hour but it now appears Everton striker Steven Naismith is Neil's prime forward target. City reportedly made an offer for the Scotland international, who is wanted by other Premier League sides, at the start of the window but Everton boss Roberto Martinez is keen to keep hold of the player until the Toffees' schedule of games eases.

Any new striker in the building will inevitable cast further doubt over Kyle Lafferty's long-term future with Leeds interested. However, it is understood that any deal is a long way off.

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Meanwhile former City boss Paul Lambert secured a reunion with Elliott Bennett at Blackburn last night. Bristol City were keen to extend the 27-year-old's loan but Lambert's time working with the player at Carrow Road appears to have proved the trump card in negotiations.