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Leeds accept Norwich bid for Howson

Norwich City have had a bid accepted for Leeds United midfielder and captain Jonny Howson.

Championship side Leeds confirmed they had "reluctantly'' accepted an offer for the 23-year-old, whose deal at Elland Road expires in the summer.

A statement on the club's website read: "The club has reluctantly accepted the offer on the basis that the player only has six months of his current contract remaining and has expressed a desire to play Premier League football at the earliest opportunity.''

Howson has been out of action since December with a knee injury, and Leeds revealed their disappointment at not being able to tie the former England Under-21 international down on a longer deal.

"The club has been in discussions with the player about a new contract at Elland Road for more than 12 months, but he has been steadfast in his position that he would like the opportunity to play Premier League football,'' the statement continued.

"On that basis Jonny hasn't felt in a position to commit himself to Leeds United at this moment in time. The player would be able to leave on a free transfer at the end of his current contract.

"While accepting the offer on Tuesday the player has still to agree terms with Norwich and we are disappointed the matter has become public at this stage.''

Norwich later confirmed a deal had been agreed with Leeds, but the move was not yet complete.

A club statement read: "City can confirm that they have had an offer accepted from Leeds United for their captain and midfielder Jonathan Howson.

"The move is still subject to the player completing a stringent medical and agreeing personal terms at Carrow Road.''

Norwich also announced that Belgian defender Ritchie de Laet has returned to Manchester United after his season-long loan deal was cancelled.

The 23-year-old has been hampered by a back injury, which limited his impact with the Canaries.

Lambert said: "Ritchie has gone back to Manchester United. We thank Sir Alex Ferguson for loaning him to us and wish Ritchie well for the future and hope he goes on to have a successful career at Manchester United.''

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