David Wagner: Todd Cantwell in talks with other clubs about Norwich City departure

Todd Cantwell remains unavailable for the Norwich City action as he is in talks with clubs about a future outside his boyhood club, new head coach David Wagner has confirmed.

Cantwell, 24, missed Wagner’s first game in charge as they left the FA Cup at home to Blackburn on Sunday – at the same time the former England U21 attacking midfielder has been heavily linked with a move to Glasgow Rangers.

Speculation has since added Blackburn’s name to the list interested in signing Cantwell this month, with the Norwich Academy product coming off the contract in the summer.

“I think there’s no secret,” Wagner said. “He certainly won’t be involved (at Preston on Saturday). He is in talks with clubs. It makes sense that he’s taking his time in this window now and we’ll see how it all plays out after the window.

“But I think right now his focus is on that and that’s totally fine.”

Cantwell had a significant impact on Norwich’s first team on their return to the Premier League in 2019–20 and then again in the Championship as they won the EFL and promotion the following season.

From that point on, however, Cantwell was an enigma: struggling to match the same form or earn the Norwich head coach’s trust in either Daniel Farke or Dean Smith.

Around this time last year Cantwell joined Bournemouth in pursuit of promotion to the Championship and although they achieved their goal Cantwell was only sporadically involved and eventually manager Scott Parker decided against pursuing their option on a permanent transfer.

Cantwell has made 129 senior appearances for Norwich since his debut in an FA Cup game at Chelsea in 2018, scoring 14 goals in that time.

As for other transfer deals at Norwich this month, Wagner plans to first take time to review his current options.

Aaron Ramsey’s summer loan deal had proved a good match but that arrangement was terminated prematurely and he has returned to Aston Villa after knee surgery.

Newcastle loanee Isaac Hayden has also had to undergo another knee operation but Norwich cannot back out of that agreement and instead hope the midfielder is available to make an impact in the final games of the season.

A similar deal is in place with Christos Tzolis, with the Greek striker staying on loan at FC Twente for the remainder of the season.

With Sam Byram likely to be out for another six to eight weeks after further hamstring problems, Norwich could still opt to recall Bali Mumba, who has captured the imagination during his season on loan at League One leaders Plymouth Argyle.

“I had his name mentioned,” said Wagner the athlete. “I saw some clips of him too. My first impression of our full-back is very good and it only makes sense if we call him back that he gets playing time. If he doesn’t get that guaranteed from us, then we’ll have to consider whether that’s the right step.

“Or should he keep progressing, more minutes, more good games and maybe win promotion too, which is always crucial for a young lad? We will think about it and certainly, especially Stuart (Webber, sporting director), make a wise decision for him.

“You can’t have your own view (of the squad) when you’re new. I have to assess everything. I’m in daily conversation with Stu. Our offices are next door. So I’m going to take some time to sit down and think about what’s best for the rest of the season in terms of the squad.

“Everyone has a chance to impress. Every training session. Every game. Every minute of a game that he has. After that we need to make sure we make the best decisions, but it’s too early to make a decision now.”

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There is real hope in Norwich via David Wagner. The hard work starts now

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https://theathletic.com/4087722/2023/01/13/wagner-cantwell-norwich-transfer/ David Wagner: Todd Cantwell in talks with other clubs about Norwich City departure

Russell Falcon

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