So, Norwich City are selling Josh Murphy to Cardiff.
It doesn’t come as too much of a shock to me, I have to say. The fact that City have a hole of around £18-20m that needs filling due to the loss of parachute payments, means that costs will have to be cut and that players will have to be sold but that doesn’t mean we’re doomed.
The players are the club’s biggest assets and there are of course, some that are more valuable than others.
Murphy, along with James Maddison, Timm Klose and Nelson Oliveira is one of the club’s most saleable players, I’d say, at this moment in time.
James Maddison seems a certainty to be sold as well, with Everton and Leicester seemingly the hot favourites to sign the jewel in the Canary crown.
All the media estimates are putting a price of £25m on Maddison, which once his sell on fee to former club, Coventry City is paid, will leave little left for squad rebuilding. That, I assume, is what is driving the sale of Murphy. The most concerning thing from my point of view, putting money and financial holes aside for a moment, is the sale of last season’s two top scorers in the same transfer window.
The EDP are talking about a £10m+ fee for Josh, which should help to finance a bit of wheeling and dealing around the squad. Emiliano Buendia has already been agreed but that was a deal that was supposedly agreed last January. He predominantly played on the right of the three behind a lone striker at his loan club, Cultural Leonesa, last season which is the same position as Josh occupied under Daniel Farke.
From what I’ve read about Emi, he is best described as an attacking midfielder rather than an orthodox winger. More of an Alex Pritchard type of player, I think.
Moritz Leitner posted a story on his Instagram account yesterday @moleitner5, in which he took a couple of selfies wearing last season’s Norwich away kit (the black one) while winking, or come to think of it, he might’ve been squinting in the sun. Who knows?!
Leitner is a player that I understand the club are trying very hard to bring back to Carrow Road and they feel that a deal is within reach. Whether that be another loan or a permanent deal, I can’t be certain and much will depend on his parent club, Augsburg, being persuaded to let him go for a reasonable amount of money.
He has pedigree, as I’m sure you already know, and yet only cost Augsburg a reported 2m euros in 2017. Although he is not a replacement for Murphy, Mo could well be a replacement for Maddison. I’d buy him in a heartbeat if I was Stuart Webber and the chance presented itself.
Assuming the Maddison and Murphy deals are completed, then it might be that we don’t need to sell anyone else but the temptation will surely be there if offers are made for some of the club’s other big earners.
Of those, Timm Klose is the most useful to the team. He is a first choice defender and looks like a great character to have around the place. He only has one year left on his City contract and still has monetary value, although I understand that the club have not received any interest in him – yet.
How this all pans out is going to be very interesting to watch. I’m already resigned to losing Maddison and don’t begrudge him the chance to play at a higher level. He’s been excellent for Norwich and comes across as a decent young man. Certainly, when my son and I met him at the final home game of the season, he couldn’t have been any nicer.
Murphy to Cardiff has prompted a few cries of “he lacks ambition” on social media but I’m not sure that ambition has much to do with it these days. Sadly, the Premier League is the place where everyone wants to play. I say “sadly” because we’re not currently a member of that exclusive club.
As we saw with Alex Pritchard, a move to any Premier League club is a step up from where Norwich City are now. If Josh goes to Cardiff, then he’s likely to more than double his current salary. It’d be a move that should set him up financially for life and he’s only 23.
Crucially, it will also put him on the biggest stage in the land and even if Cardiff are relegated at the end of next season, if Josh does well in the meantime, then his stock will only rise and he may well get another move.
He hasn’t always been the most consistent of performers but if he was he’d be worth £30m and not £10m. On his day, like against Aston Villa at Carrow Road this season, he can be absolutely brilliant but there haven’t been enough of those sorts of performances to impress everyone.
A friend of mine was chatting with Timm Klose after that goal of the season against Villa and he told my friend that Josh struggles with confidence and that he does stuff in training that he daren’t try on the pitch because of certain fans’ reactions. That’s a real shame and unfortunately could be another reason to help the young man make the decision to leave.
Selling both of last season’s two top scorers is a big concern to me and if ever there was a time for Stuart Webber to earn his corn, then it’s now. Effective replacements must be found or next season could be even more disastrous than the last.
If Webber gets that right though, then who knows? Twenty goal a season Championship scorers were like hen’s teeth last season, so no pressure, Stuart.
With Murphy about to leave NR1 and Maddison looking like he won’t be far behind, it seems like the summer transfer window for Canary fans is about to take off in earnest.