(Picture: Action Images via Reuters)
Norwich have beaten a host of clubs to the signing of Barnsley forward Marley Watkins, who will join when his Tykes contract expires on July 1st.
The 26-year-old, who had attracted interest from the likes of Swansea, Leeds and Aston Villa after rejecting a new deal at Oakwell, becomes Daniel Farke’s first signing, joining on an initial three-year contract.
The exciting attacker, who is capable of playing out wide or as a striker, got his first call-up to the senior Wales squad last week, and his move to Carrow Road completes a whirlwind fortnight for Watkins.
Speaking to Norwich’s official website, Watkins said: “Norwich is a club with ambitions to be in the Premier League so I’m really happy to have made this decision.
“Everything is in place at Norwich to be successful. I’m really excited to be joining a project at a team whose ambitions match my own.”
Watkins thrived during his first season in the second tier, after help Barnsley reach the Championship via the League One play-offs in 2016, and scored 10 goals in 45 appearances for Paul Heckingbottom’s side.
Speaking after welcoming his new recruit to the club, head coach Farke said: “Marley played brilliantly last season and is proven at this level.
“He scored ten goals and got nine assists, and can play either as a forward or on the wing. He’s physical and a good character who gives us another option in attack.
“I’m really looking forward to working with him.”
Meanwhile, Canaries midfielder Jonny Howson is likely to leave the club as Farke begins to really put his own stamp on the squad at Carrow Road.
The popular Yorkshireman has two-years left on his remaining contract, but has told the Norwich hierarchy that he wants out with fears he will not get many first-team opportunities under the new management.
Howson played 38 times last season, and was one of Norwich’s most consistent performers, but has been heavily linked with return to boyhood club Leeds.