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Jan 24, 2012

Canaries complete Howson swoop

Norwich City have confirmed the signing of "exciting midfielder" Jonathan Howson from Leeds United on a three-and-a-half-year deal.

• Leeds accept Norwich bid for Howson

Howson, 23, has not played since damaging his knee a month ago and underwent a stringent medical before joining the Canaries for a undisclosed fee, reported to be around £2 million.

The Morley-born midfielder, who will wear the number 24 shirt at Carrow Road, came through the ranks at Leeds and the sale of the captain is unlikely to go down well with the Yorkshire club's fans.

However, Leeds manager Simon Grayson said this weekend that he backed the sale: "It is the right decision for everybody.

"I spoke with Jonny when the offer came in and he's always made it clear he wants to play Premier League football. He wanted to do that here, and while it is what we are striving for, we can't guarantee that.

"An offer has come in from a Premier League club and now he has the chance to play top-flight football as soon as he is fit again from his knee injury.

"It is a good decision from our point of view because we have agreed a good deal for a player who is unavailable through injury, who has six months left on his contract and who could have left in the summer for nothing.

"That money will go into what we are trying to do here in terms of adding to the squad."

The deal is subject to the paperwork being approved by the relevant footballing authorities.

Howson made his Leeds debut against Hull in 2006, before becoming the club's youngest captain since Billy Bremner when he was given the armband as a 19-year-old in April 2009.

Norwich manager Paul Lambert said: "I think he has been brilliant for Leeds - how he has played but also being their captain brings its own demands. It's a fantastic club Leeds.

"I think he can add goals to our midfield which I think we need and he can do that. He'll get better as a player the higher the level he goes up. If he does that and everything goes well, he'll be a great player for us.''

England Under-21 international Howson had been mulling over signing a new deal with Leeds, but opted not to as they could not guarantee him top-flight football.

"The reason is Premier League,'' he told LUTV. "I am going to a very good club with good support, but at the same time I know I'm leaving a club I've loved from being a young boy. That's not going to change.

"Everyone at Leeds is wanting Premier League football. The ambition is always there, but that is not guaranteed.''

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