Alderweireld to Norwich would be signing of season, but it won’t happen
Nicolas Anelka joining West Brom, Victor Wanyama agreeing to a move to Southampton and the high probability of Emanuele Giaccherini heading to Sunderland are all arguably examples in the past week of teams punching above their weight in terms of their transfer dealings.
However, all three would be trumped if Norwich are successful in their pursuit of Ajax central defender Toby Alderweireld.
Reports suggest that a fee of €8m has already been agreed between the two clubs, with personal terms still to be discussed.
Alderweireld has been highly coveted this summer, with Liverpool thought to be at the front of the queue and Bayer Leverkusen also in the running with the added incentive of being able to offer Champions League football.
Only centre back partner Niklas Moisander completed more passes in the Eredivisie last season and his comfort in possession would seem an obvious fit into Brendan Rodgers’ ball-retention philosophy.
Logic would suggest that the asking price agreed with Norwich would not be beyond Liverpool either, even if Kolo Toure has already been technically brought in to replace the retired Jamie Carragher.
The latest is that Alderweireld plans to take his time before making a decision and the obvious argument is that he is hoping that a delay will bring a better offer from elsewhere.
Even with striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel arriving to spearhead their attack, Norwich can realistically still only hope for a top-10 finish at best, which will not be the most appealing incentive to move for Alderweireld.
Norwich are 7/2 to finish in the top half of the Premier League this season, while those with even loftier expectations for the Canaries can get 40/1 that they break into the top six.
Signings of the calibre of Alderweireld would be a major help to either of these achievements, but the gut feeling is that the Belgian defender will not end up at Carrow Road, despite the positive early signs.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.