Sources: Smith move to Norwich City 'arranged' before his last Aston Villa match
Norwich City were making preliminary moves to lure Dean Smith while he was still Aston Villa manager, Football Insider has learned.
Norwich director of football Stuart Webber had lined up Smith as a potential successor to Daniel Farke before his dismissal at Villa Park 13 days ago.
An industry source has told Football Insider that Webber and Smith are both represented by the same agency and had been Key Sports clients before the company was bought by Wasserman last year.
It was well known in football circles that Smith was doomed at Villa, where chief executive Christian Purslow had been looking to replace him for some time.
That opened the door to Norwich, and early “arrangements”, the source explained, had taken place even before Smith oversaw the 1-0 defeat at Southampton 15 days ago.
That proved to be his last match in charge of his boyhood club.
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Smith was sacked by Villa on 7 November, less than 48 hours after the team had slumped to a fifth consecutive Premier League defeat.
Daniel Farke had been dismissed by Norwich on 6 November in the immediate wake of their Premier League win over Brentford.
Shortly afterwards, talks had begun with out-of-work Frank Lampard, while Football Insider broke the news on 8 November of Norwich’s approach to Smith.
By that point, Smith was the favourite for the post and the deal gathered momentum before he eventually appointed on 15 November.
Villa had appointed Steven Gerrard as their new manager four days earlier.
Smith had been targeted as he is a proven Premier League manager with extensive experience in both the top flight and the Championship.
His CV includes a Championship promotion at Villa as well as transforming the fortunes of his previous clubs Brentford and Walsall.
Smith is also renowned for implementing an attacking playing style that is similar to the one overseen by Farke at Norwich.
In other news, Aston Villa are in line for a sensational £105million windfall.