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McGovern is keen to tie up Norwich deal

By Steven Beacom

Published 18/07/2016

In demand: NI star Michael McGovern
In demand: NI star Michael McGovern

Northern Ireland goalkeeper Michael McGovern is hoping to complete a move to Norwich City this week and help the Canaries in their bid to return to the Premier League.

Following his heroics at the Euro 2016 finals, a host of clubs have been interested in snapping up the Fermanagh man, but over the weekend Norwich jumped to the head of the queue.

The 32-year-old has been a free agent since last month having left Scottish Premiership side Hamilton Accies.

A move to Norwich would see him join up again with former Hamilton boss Alex Neil, who is now in charge of the Carrow Road outfit.

After suffering relegation from the top-flight last season, Neil is determined to bounce straight back with the Canaries and win promotion from the Championship.

And he is confident that McGovern can help him with that ambition.

McGovern's reputation soared in France where he played brilliantly for Northern Ireland, not least against World champions Germany in Paris.

In that group game he produced a world class display, making eight superb saves to keep the score down to 1-0 to Joachim Low's side.

Southampton, Burnley, Leeds, Middlesbrough and Bristol City have all been linked with McGovern in recent weeks, but Norwich appear to have won the race.

For McGovern it will mean a fight for a starting spot with John Ruddy and Declan Rudd.

Going to Hamilton from Norwich on a season-long loan switch is promising young goalkeeper Remi Matthews.

McGovern won’t be the only Northern Ireland international moving clubs in the near future.

Right-back Conor McLaughlin is set to depart League One side Fleetwood with Championship teams Leeds and Reading interested in his signature.

New Oldham manager and former Northern Ireland coach Stephen Robinson should hear from Aaron Hughes in the coming days about whether the veteran defender wants to join him.

Hughes, who played three games in the Euro 2016 finals after coming into the side for the famous 2-0 victory over Ukraine in Lyon, was released by Australian outfit Melbourne City before the tournament in France began.

Another man with a decision to make is midfielder Oliver Norwood. He is expected to move on from Reading with Premier League clubs Hull City, Burnley and Bournemouth all keen on the player, who is also admired by Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers.

It is thought that Norwood would prefer to stay in England and play in the top-flight.

Belfast Telegraph

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