Done deal: Ipswich complete signing of 32-goal Tranmere striker Norwood
- Credit: Archant
Ipswich Town have completed a deal to sign Tranmere Rovers striker James Norwood.
The 28-year-old, who scored 32 goals in all competitions last season, is out of contract at Prenton Park and will move to Ipswich on a three-year deal. The club also hold an option to extend his deal by a further year.
Blues boss Paul Lambert has been tracking the striker for some time, with the interest first revealed in March, before the Blues won the race for his signature despite interest from Championship sides Hull City and Swansea City.
Norwood was at Portman Road today to finalise his move, having agreed the switch a fortnight ago.
"Ipswich is a Premier League club and I want to help them get back to that level," Norwood told the club website.
"I've looked around the stadium and it's unbelievable. Looking at the size of the crowds last season, the facilities. I just can't wait for pre-season to start now.
"I had three or four Championship clubs make offers but I spoke with Paul Lambert and he told me how he saw me fit into his team.
"It's a massive club and I have seen how the fans get behind the team and I know what that can do for a football club. It was a no-brainer for me really.
"I've come here to achieve things. I have had two promotions and Ipswich have got a good chance of going up next season and I want to be part of that."
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He has become Town's third summer signing following the capture of Gillingham goalkeeper Tomas Holy and former West Brom stopper Adam Przybek.
The striker, who has spent the majority of his career in non-league football scored 92 goals in 189 games since moving to Tranmere from Forest Green in 2015.
He spent much of his time at Forest Green playing wide on the left but still managed to score 49 goals in his four seasons at the club in non-league football.
Prior to that he had spent time on loan at Eastbourne from first club Exeter City, where he made a handful of League One appearances.
But this season with Tranmere has been his first true crack at the professional leagues, with Norwood enjoying the season of his life to end the campaign as the country's joint-leading marksman alongside Manchester City's Sergio Aguero.
Norwood this evening issued a statement on the Tranmere website, thanking the club for their support over the last four years.
He said: "It has been a special journey and obviously last season was incredible. I am so happy we have achieved promotion to League One and the Club can only kick on from this point.
"It has been a new home for me, the memories will stay with me forever. This is a massive club and the way we have won back-to-back promotions is a really special story. Tranmere Rovers will always have a special place in my heart.
"The club and the fans have stuck with me through some tough times. I have built up an amazing relationship with the Super White Army.
"It is something so special and incredible to share a personal relationship with the fans and I can't thank them enough. I don't think they realise how important they are, they are the driving force behind this club.
"Tranmere have a chairman doing everything he can to get the players closer to the fans every year and you can now see the results.
"We have been achieving things that Tranmere should be achieving and it is certainly a Club moving in the right direction.
"A key factor for me now is that both my mum and dad are retired. I wanted to be closer to them, my family and my friends.
"I phoned the chairman and told him everything and I said I would like to come back in some capacity one day, whether it is a player, a coach or a fan. This is a place that will always hold a place in my heart, and I want to see the Club continue to do well. I would love to one day pull on the famous white shirt again!
"There is a togetherness at Tranmere Rovers which I don't think too many football clubs have. I will always be a Tranmere Rovers supporter now and I hope we go and get three in a row!"
"I can't thank you all enough, from the Chairman, to Nicola, to the manager, the lads and of course, the fans."