Norwich City transfer update: Audacious bid for Italian, first signing secured

Norwich’s transfer window has at last clicked into gear since Friday.

By the end of last week the Canaries had made only a single move – loaning 19-year-old Jamar Loaza out to Leyton Orient - seemingly set for a rather stagnant January.

But over the weekend a shock report emerged from the Italian media that an audacious £8.3m bid for Italy international Andrea Ranocchia had been submitted from Carrow Road.

TuttoMercatoWeb alleged that the Inter man, reportedly of interest to Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham in the Premier League, immediately rejected the idea of a Norwich switch via his agent.

If the claim of the Canaries’ offer is to be believed it was certainly one of ambition – hunting after a player that could be viewed as above the club’s calibre – but in line with the confidence that saw Leroy Fer and Ricky van Wolfswinkel join in the summer.

At any rate Ranocchia won’t be moving to the banks of the River Wensum, but Norwich have made their first capture of the winter window.

On Monday the loan signing of Jonas Gutierrez for the remainder of the campaign was announced – offering depth and experience out wide.

The Newcastle United-owned winger saw minutes evaporate at St James’ Park this term amongst fitness issues – though should be of use to Chris Hughton, formerly his manager on Tyneside.

Norwich’s capture of the Argentine seems to effectively end any temporary pursuit of Wilfried Zaha, who is still yet to be released for loan by Manchester United, though may fuel fears of a high-profile departure.

Anthony Pilkington has been linked with a move to Swansea City – though the Englishman only just returned to full training from injury and the Welsh outfit downplayed reports of their interest in him.

And as it lies it doesn’t seem likely the 25-year-old would be inclined to move on having just recovered from a hamstring injury, also considering his esteemed stature in the squad at Carrow Road.

Meanwhile, Wes Hoolahan continues to be tipped for a move to Aston Villa after not featuring in the starting eleven in the weekend’s loss to Everton.

The Irishman was rumoured to have turned in a transfer request last week but the club denied such claims, with Chris Hughton chalking up his omission from the line-up at Goodison Park to a tactical choice.

Lastly comes the current situation of the Norwich manager himself  amid a run of six straight without a Premier League win.

The Carrow Road outfit have slipped to within just two points of the drop zone amidst their poor form, and should things continue this way Hughton will increasingly have more to answer for.

On Saturday the 55-year-old claimed he felt no more pressure than usual despite his side’s underperformance since early December – but it looks as if reality says otherwise.

Norwich may not be on the market for a new man at the helm at the moment, but if Hughton can’t galvanize the squad soon enough, the club hierarchy could be looking for more than just player signings going forward from January.

image: © pittaya

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