Norwich City have reportedly moved into pole position to sign former Barnsley attacker Marley Watkins.
The 26-year-old free agent opted to reject a new deal at Oakwell, sparking an intense battle among a clutch of Championship clubs for his services.
City’s bitter East Anglian rivals Ipswich Town reportedly failed with two seven figure bids in the January transfer window - and were heavily touted with a fresh summer swoop - along with Cardiff City, Aston Villa, Wolves and Bristol City.
The Canaries’ new sporting director Stuart Webber, however, had pledged to overhaul a squad who missed out on a top six place and Watkins is poised to join City’s Championship crusade when his Barnsley contract officially runs out next month.
Watkins, who can operate on either flank or down the middle and scored 10 goals in 45 appearances last season, confirmed his pending departure from the Reds on his official Twitter account last week.
The 26-year-old has been on the fringes of the Welsh senior squad over the past 12 months and would appear to fit the criteria Webber publicly outlined in his recruitment strategy, after rebuilding his career in non league when he initially failed to make the grade at Swansea City.