Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 26 May 2016

Kyle Lafferty's Norwich exit moves closer as Steven Naismith prepares to join Canaries

By Steven Beacom

Published 19/01/2016

Old pals act: Kyle Lafferty will be allowed to leave Norwich after former Rangers team-mate Steven Naismith is brought in
Old pals act: Kyle Lafferty will be allowed to leave Norwich after former Rangers team-mate Steven Naismith is brought in

Northern Ireland striker Kyle Lafferty's Norwich nightmare will soon come to an end thanks to his old Rangers team-mate Steven Naismith.

The Belfast Telegraph revealed last week that, even though he was not getting any game time in the Premier League, Lafferty would not be allowed to leave Carrow Road until manager Alex Neil had recruited more firepower.

That will now happen with Naismith primed to join the Canaries from Everton in an £8million deal.

Bringing in the former Ibrox favourite could be a shrewd move by Neil in his side's fight against relegation from the Premier League and for Lafferty it will bring relief, setting the wheels in motion for his departure.

Lafferty may have been outstanding for Northern Ireland during qualification for Euro 2016, scoring seven goals, but he has only played 27 minutes in the top flight of English football all season.

He has spoken about his desire to be well prepared for the finals in France later this year and knows he needs to be playing on a regular basis at club level prior to making the trip. The 28-year-old from Fermanagh has had interest from abroad but he would prefer to stay in England.

Leeds United, who are long-term admirers, remain keen despite having had a loan bid rejected for the forward. Fellow Championship outfit Bristol City are also considering making a move for the ex-Burnley ace.

Ironically, Leeds are due to host Bristol City in the league on Saturday.

Bristol City, who face West Brom in an FA Cup replay tonight, are in the relegation zone and are desperate to sign players who can ease them clear of the bottom three.

For Norwich, the arrival of Naismith will continue what has been a busy transfer window for them to date.

Yesterday, they completed the move of the Wolfsburg defender Timm Klose, their fourth January signing.

The Switzerland centre-back has agreed a three-and-half-year deal, subject to governing body approval, for an undisclosed fee.

Matt Jarvis, Ivo Pinto and Ben Godfrey have already moved to Carrow Road this month.

There could be more to follow if Neil has his way.

Neil said: "Timm has got plenty of experience having played in the Bundesliga, in the Champions League and for his country, which will be an asset to us.

"As a player, he's got good technical ability and he's solid in the air. He can also play at either right centre-back or left centre-back.

"We're delighted to have completed this deal and to have added Timm to our squad."

The 27-year-old defender, who played against Manchester United in the Champions League earlier this season, is looking forward to a new career in England and helping Norwich stay up.

"It was always a dream to play in the Premier League and Norwich have given me a big chance," he said.

"Now I want to give everything I can to be a good player in this league. When I came here and saw the training ground, the stadium, and everything - it was fantastic."

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