Leeds United have agreed to sell captain Jonny Howson to Barclays Premier League side Norwich City.
The Elland Road club revealed they have accepted and offer from the Canaries, but insisted they had no real choice in doing so.
Howson is out of contract at the end of the season and the Whites want to avoid a repeat of last summer when they lost Neil Kilkenny and Bradley Johnson after their respective contracts ended.
“Leeds have reluctantly accepted the offer on the basis that the player only has six months of his current contract remaining and has expressed a desire that he would like to play Premier League football at the earliest opportunity,” read a statement on the club's official website.
“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 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.”
Howson is Leeds’ current longest serving player and has been an influential figure at the club for some time.
Should he join newly promoted Norwich, he would join the aforementioned Bradley Johnson at Carrow Road.
Paul lambert’s team today cancelled the season-long loan of Manchester United defender Richie de Laet, after a series of injuries restricted him to just six appearances this season.
“Ritchie has gone back to Manchester United,” Lambert told the club’s official website.
“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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