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Transfer Rumour: Newcastle eye Norwich star Max Aarons

Max Aarons was part of the Norwich City side that took a point away from Newcastle United on Tuesday, and now the defender finds himself on the Magpies’ radar ahead of the January transfer window, according to a report from Calciomercato.

The Canaries left Tyneside with a big point. The result will certainly suit Dean Smith’s side more than it will Newcastle.

For Eddie Howe, it was another reminder of how important next month is going to be. The Magpies could end the day eight points off safety and are still awaiting their first win.

One positive from yesterday’s game, it seems, is that it provided Howe with an opportunity to look at a potential target, and it does appear that the Magpies need to strengthen in that right-back position. Javier Manquillo has done reasonably well at times.

But the likes of Matt Ritchie and Emil Krafth have come in for plenty of criticism.

Aarons has perhaps not quite kicked on as some may have expected when Norwich were previously in the Premier League.

But the defender is still only 21 years of age. And he did do well at St James’ Park this week.

According to Whoscored, no player completed more tackles than Aarons. Meanwhile, he managed two key passes during the contest.

Byram Plays 70 Minutes In Under-23s 5-0 Win vs Wolves

Norwich City Under-23s put in a five-star performance away at Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League 2 and leapfrogged their opponents in the table.

Goals from Jon Rowe (2), Abu Kamara, Bali Mumba and Tom Dickson-Peters gave the Canaries a convincing win at Aggborough Stadium that lifts them up to fifth in the Premier League 2 Division 2 table.

Under-23s head coach Alan Neilson made two changes to the side that was beaten in the last match at Middlesbrough, with Sam Byram and Bali Mumba coming into the starting XI for Saxon Earley and Josh Giurgi, who dropped to the bench.

Wolves started the match brightly with skipper Lewis Richards fizzing a cross into the back post that nobody got on the end of before Harvey Griffiths warmed the gloves of Dylan Berry with a tame free kick towards the near post.

Norwich then responded as Rowe, dangerous throughout the first half, threaded a pass into Dickson-Peters but Louie Moulden was quick off his line to gather as the striker looked to take the ball around him.

Lee Harkin then had a close range shot blocked for the hosts before Norwich took control of the game with two quickfire goals. The first came from Mumba who cut in from the left and hit an effort from outside the box that flew past Moulden. A minute later it was 2-0 as this time Rowe picked up a good through ball from Kamara and sent a left foot shot across goal and into the bottom corner.

Harry Birtwistle and Tony Springett then both dragged shots wide for their respective teams, before Dickson-Peters hit a half volley towards goal that was well blocked.

The second half was only six minutes old when Norwich extended the lead. First Kamara floated a ball to the back post, which Tony Springett attempted to volley goalwards. However, when his effort was cleared Norwich recycled the ball well and Mumba crossed from the left for Rowe to plant a header into the bottom corner.

Wolves looked to push more men forward after that but left themselves open as Dickson-Peters intercepted a pass on halfway, raced towards the opposition’s area and squared a pass to Kamara, who coolly slotted a finish past the keeper to make it 4-0.

The hosts kept coming forward though and Owen Hesketh was unfortunate to hit the outside of the post after working his way past a couple of challenges on the edge of the area. Then, with nine minutes remaining, Berry showed his determination to keep the clean sheet in tact by diving to his right to palm away a fiercley-struck shot from Griffiths.

So it was left then for Dickson-Peters to put the gloss on an excellent display in the last minute of normal time as he collected a ball from Mumba and fired past Moulden to make it 5-0.

Wolves: Moulden; Estrada (Jordão, 63), Hubner, Richards (C), Birtwistle, Buur; Hodnett (Bueno, 75), Hesketh, Griffiths; Harkin, Roberts (Scott, 63). Subs not used: Tipton, Farmer Bookings: Hubner (16), Hesketh (43), Roberts (45), Estrada (60)

Norwich City: Berry; Byram (C) (Giurgi, 71), Warner, Tomkinson, Mumba; Gibbs, Riley (Clarke, 48), Springett (Earley, 84); Kamara, Rowe, Dickson-Peters. Subs not used: St Paul, Hutchinson Bookings: Byram (12), Gibbs (13), Tomkinson (45), Dickson-Peters (85) Goals: Rowe (19, 51), Mumba (18), Kamara (57), Dickson-Peters (90)

HT: 2-0 Venue: Aggborough Stadium

Billy Gilmour: New boss Dean Smith has made a "massive difference"

Billy Gilmour reckons that Dean Smith has already made a "massive difference" to Norwich City after the midfielder turned in another man of the match display yesterday, his second in as many games.

The on-loan Chelsea midfielder and Scotland international was frozen out under previous boss Daniel Farke prior to his sacking.

Smith has immediately moved to restore the  young Scot to the starting lineup and he has repaid his new manager with a pair of excellent performances, the latest in Saturday's goalless draw at home to Wolves.

And the 20-year-old says the intensity and atmosphere around Carrow Road is night and day compared to before Smith's arrival to their Premier League survival fight.

Gilmour said: “He’s come in and been ruthless with us, how we train, the intensity, in the games you can see there’s a massive difference, it feels like it as well.

“He comes in and there’s a real buzz about the place and wanting to do well.”

He continued: "He’s just come in and said we need to be more aggressive.

"You can see that we’re playing higher up and more aggressively, attacking a lot more and getting after teams.

“We belong in this league and we need to prove it. We could have taken a couple of our chances but it wasn’t to be.”

Norwich Vs Wolves: Team News

Norwich City head coach Dean Smith has confirmed that he is lucky enough to have an almost fully fit squad to choose from for Saturday's Premier League game at Carrow Road against Wolverhampton Wanderers, his second game in charge of the team since his recent appointment

Kieran Dowell, who had missed the previous game against Southampton through illness, has now returned to training on Thursday and is available for selection for the game.

The only absentees are the two long term casulaties Christoph Zimmermann, who is recovering from an ankle injury and Sam Byram, who is now on the comeback trail and starting to regain his match fitness following a lengthy spell on the sidelines

Byram will again aim to play some of the match for the under-23 team this coming Monday, as he looks to step his recovery and target getting back into the first team squad.


Sporting Director Stuart Webber Signs New Rolling Contract

Norwich City sporting director Stuart Webber has confirmed he will be staying with the Canaries on a new rolling contract.

Webber signalled last month that he was set to commit to a new deal during the November international break.

However, the Welshman has been rather busy since then, having decided to dismiss Daniel Farke as head coach at the start of this month after one win from 11 matches since promotion to the Premier League.

City were holding their annual general meeting at Carrow Road this evening and Webber's contract situation was confirmed to shareholders.

Confirming to applause, he said: “I will be staying. I’ve been speaking with the directors for quite some time, we didn’t want it to be a big hoo-ha, I didn’t like what happened last time when I signed a contract and it felt about me, I hated that to be honest. 

“I’ve always been very open and honest, sometimes people don’t like that but I think that’s the only way, people pay their money and I think if someone asks you a question, you give them an answer, not a fluffy answer but tell them the truth. 

“My plan was always clear that I wanted to go abroad at the end of this current contract and I’ll be honest Covid has changed that, it’s not the right time to be going away at the moment."

Webber was due to be out of contract next summer, having previously signalled his intention to move on to a new challenge when he signed a three-year deal in September 2019 after masterminding the first promotion of his reign.

The 37-year-old former Liverpool academy recruitment chief was alongside the Canaries' board of directors to discuss club matters, having recently decided to appoint Dean Smith as the new head coach.

He continued: "We’ve agreed to do it where we’ll talk about it privately, yearly, it’s not going to be I’m staying for three years, for 10 years, one year, or whatever. 

“The trust I have with (majority shareholders) Delia and Michael is that if the day comes when they want me to leave the next second, then not a problem, and likewise if the time comes when I want to have some time out. 

“I’ve got ambitions away from football, I‘ve got a load of ambitions and Delia and Michael have always known this. I’ve had opportunities to leave for bigger clubs, bigger projects, but it’s not about that. 

“If and when I leave here, it won’t be in football, so for me it was about that understanding with them that as long as I'm allowed to explore certain opportunities, and they've been top class as you'd expect.

"So I'm delighted to be staying, thank you for the round of applause. It's exciting, I'm looking forward to what's next and it's a good opportunity now."

Webber to leave at end of season amidst rumours of boardroom rift

Norwich City recruitment chief Stuart Webber is expected to leave the club at the end of the season after a fall-out with owner Delia Smith, Football Insider is claiming in an article published today.  This is despite a promise he was set to extend his contract just a matter of weeks ago in the midst of the Daniel Farke sacking time.

Sporting director Webber was sat alongside Dean Smith for his recent unveiling as the club’s new manager, however a Norwich source has told Football Insider that all is not well behind the scenes between the 37-year-old transfer guru and club chiefs Smith and her husband Michael Wynn Jones.

The majority shareholders have reportedly clashed over an increasing number of key decisions for the club, including manager appointments and transfers.

It is believed Smith and Wynn Jones wanted former boss Daniel Farke to be sacked earlier than he was, with one suggestion that he could have even gone in the summer after overseeing a second Championship promotion in third seasons.

There has also been disquiet in the boardroom at the poor return on a summer signing spree that cost the club £60million.

Most of the new arrivals this year are considered to have flopped and fingers are being pointed at Sporting Director Webber.

Noticeably, he has often been visibly avoiding the boardroom on match days at Norwich and his relationship with Smith and Wynn Jones is said by the club source to be “not good at all”.

Webber has a strong reputation in the game after overseeing three Championship promotions, two at Norwich and one at his former club Huddersfield Town.

But his critics point out that his excellent record in the second tier masks poor recruitment in the Premier League and the club’s failure to compete in the top flight is partly attributed to signing the wrong type of player, not just at Norwich but also previously at Huddersfield too

His contract is due to expire at the end of the season and, barring an unlikely turnaround, he is now not expected to extend it.

Webber’s former ally Kieran Scott quit the Canaries during the summer to join Middlesbrough as their new sporting director.

Transfer Rumour: Villa Striker Latest To Be Linked

It hasn’t taken long for the inevitable transfer rumours linking Norwich City with fringe players at Aston Villa to arrive.  Football Insider have now linked  young striker Keinan Davis with a move to Norwich City in the January transfer window. 

Davis, 23, is a Villa youth product who has only scored six goals in 86 matches for the West Midlands club – although only 28 of those have been starts and only four in the top flight. 

The big forward is under contract until 2024 but has only recently returned from a knee problem that disrupted his start to the season, claiming a goal and an assist as the Villa U21s beat MK Dons 4-2 in the EFL Trophy. 

He also played the final 11 minutes of Smith’s final match in charge, a 1-0 Premier League defeat at Southampton, but was left on the bench by new boss Steven Gerrard during a 2-0 home win over Brighton on Saturday. 

Born and raised in Stevenage, Davis made his Villa debut at 18 but hasn’t had any loan experience and has rarely enjoyed a run of consistent game-time. Football Insider claim a fee of between £2m and £4m could seal a deal. 

Transfer Rumour: Hourihane Links Continue

Journalist Stuart Hodge would be happy if Norwich City make a move to sign Aston Villa midfielder Conor Hourihane in January.

Norwich have already been linked with the Villa man, who's currently on a season-long loan with Sheffield United in the Championship.

And reports believe that Smith could reunite with the 30-cap Republic of Ireland international at Carrow Road and make him one of his first signings as Canaries boss this winter.

Hourihane played arguably some of the best football of his career during Smith's first two years at Villa Park, so it's not difficult to see where the link is coming from.

During Villa's promotion season in 2018-2019, the former Barnsley man scored seven goals and chipped in with 12 assists before marking his first season as a Premier League player by directly contributing to eight goals in 27 appearances.

The loan signing of Ross Barkley would see Hourihane lose his place in the Villa side, and he spent the second half of last season on loan with Swansea before joining the Blades for this term following Villa's summer spending spree.

But a swift return to the Premier League could be on the cards for Hourihane, who's able to be recalled by Villa and then loaned out elsewhere, with his contract running out next summer.

With the 30-year-old proven at both Championship and Premier League level, Hodge would welcome his arrival.

What did Hodge say?

He told GIVEMESPORT: "I would be happy, because Hourihane always has a good game against Norwich, he always has a good game against us. He often puts in his best performances, so I would quite like us to get him."