Transfer positives outweigh negatives for Norwich City chief

Norwich Chairman Ed Balls, Norwich Director Stephan Phillips and Norwich Chief Executive Jez Moxey a

Norwich Chairman Ed Balls, Norwich Director Stephan Phillips and Norwich Chief Executive Jez Moxey applauds their side's goal during the Sky Bet Championship match at Carrow Road, NorwichPicture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

After a busy and at times frustrating transfer window for Norwich City, DAVID FREEZER sat down with Canaries chief executive Jez Moxey to discuss where things went right – and wrong.

New Norwich City chief executive Jez Moxey during the 4-1 win over Blackburn on the opening day. Pic

New Norwich City chief executive Jez Moxey during the 4-1 win over Blackburn on the opening day. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Alex Neil's hopes of striking a deal for another striker on deadline day may not have become a reality but chief executive Jez Moxey believes Norwich City did have a productive transfer window.

The Canaries chief has spoken out following frustrated reactions to a lack of signings before Wednesday night's deadline from some fans.

Revealing that hopes for another signing were scuppered by deals for players sales falling through, Moxey tried to remind supporters of the positives made before the traditional late scramble.

As well as signing highly rated young attacking midfielders Alex Pritchard and Sergi Canos from Tottenham and Liverpool respectively, a deal for Portugal striker Nelson Oliveira was struck with Benfica – with a combined total fee believed to be around £15million.

Timm Klose was among the Canaries players expected to be in demand during th summer. Picture by Paul

Timm Klose was among the Canaries players expected to be in demand during th summer. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

With new contracts for players including Wes Hoolahan and Alex Tettey, and offers for other valued players turned down, Moxey feels there is plenty to be positive about.

'There were bids on players that we've got that we have turned down because we didn't want to weaken the team,' the City chief said.

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'If it was just about money, then one or two players may well have gone, but that's not what we're about here.

'We're about using every available resource we've got to try and strengthen the team whenever possible and I think we have done.'

Winger Robbie Brady was one of the players expected to be in demand and Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill admitted he was surprised that his Euro 2016 star hadn't made it back to the Premier League when speaking to the Irish media yesterday.

Centre-back Timm Klose has also revealed, see right, that Switzerland manager Vladimir Petkovic had urged him to leave the Canaries following relegation.

The collapse of deals for fringe players was blamed for the lack of a final forward signing on deadline day though, with the likes of Kyle Lafferty, Seb Bassong and Michael Turner all linked with moves.

'We were working on two or three deals which were going out, unfortunately they fell down and we had one or two players that we were interested in signing but primarily because those deals didn't go out, we weren't able to bring those deals in,' the former Wolves chief continued.

'In effect, we were looking to offload some of the players that we wanted to shift, weren't able to do that and that hampered our ability to potentially bring somebody in.'

Another player to be linked with a move was Scotland international Steven Naismith, who has struggled to make an impact since joining from Everton for £8m in January.

Sunderland boss David Moyes was reportedly keen to take the 29-year-old on loan but failed to agree personal terms with the attacker.

'What I'm not going to do is talk specifically about individually players and what they may have done and may not have done, I think that's unfair,' Moxey said. 'Steven Naismith is a Norwich City player, we bought him for a lot of money in January and we think he can do a very good job for the team in the Championship this season.'

There is still a chance of a new striker arriving though, with former Arsenal and Bordeaux striker Marouane Chamakh being considered as a free transfer.

The 32-year-old was released in the summer by Crystal Palace and has already met with the Canaries.

'He's not been training with the club, he's been in and we've talked to him,' Moxey said. 'We're going to talk to him again next week, we're going to see what sort of physical condition he's in, he's not played much recently. We're looking at his injury status very carefully, we'll see but it's not something that we're jumping up and down about, it's just another situation that's worthy of investigation.'

City had been linked with Nottingham Forest striker Britt Assombalonga but Moxey would not confirm the claims of Forest owner Fawaz Al Hasawi that a bid was made.

'I'd rather not comment on what other people say or comment on speculation, all I can tell you is we were active in the transfer market,' he said.

'We tried to do business and we are pleased with the business that we have done in bringing in the five players we have brought in.'

The only deals completed on deadline day saw youngsters Harry Toffolo and James Maddison join Scunthorpe and Aberdeen respectively on loan until January – with Moxey confirming there is no recall option – and Tony Andreu heading to Dundee United on loan until the end of the season.

However, City's chief executive is hopeful that with his arrival in August following the appointment of Tony Spearing as head of recruitment in April, the Canaries will be well prepared for the January transfer window.

'I think you'll find that a lot of work has been done, there is a good team behind the team that you probably recognise,' Moxey said. 'It's not just about one person, it's about a whole team of people and the network that the club have – has established and is looking to improve all the time – is actually very good and better than I expected.

'The recruitment discussion is something that goes on every day of the week, it's as important as anything we do and whether you get criticised for saying you want to be shrewd or criticised for not spending enough money.

'One of the things we haven't talked about is why is nobody apparently jumping up and down that we apparently have so few players we've developed ourselves in the team, for example.

'That is something I'd like to see in the medium term and to me it's great to hear the fans singing 'Jacob's (Murphy) one of our own' when he scores his first goal away to Blackburn Rovers, I want to see more of that, I think that's something the club needs to improve greatly on.'