League One side Norwich City have picked up Australian goalkeeper Michael Theoklitos on a free transfer after the 28-year-old’s contract expired with Melbourne Victory.
The former A-League star – who developed a reputation as the league's top shot-stopper during successful four-season spell with the Victory that saw him win two championships – had made no secret of his desire to secure an overseas move before the start of the new season.
It has now been confirmed by the Norwich website that Theoklitos has signed a two-year deal with the club, with manager Bryan Gunn confirming the goalkeeper was his “number one target”.
"Michael has always been the number one target this summer, so obviously I'm delighted he's put pen to paper,” Gunn told www.canaries.co.uk.
“Although other clubs were interested in trying to sign Michael he wanted to come and play for us and that is the kind of passion and commitment to Norwich City which I'm looking for in my players.”
Despite interest from other European clubs, Theoklitos also maintained that Norwich was his first-choice destination.
"Norwich is a massive club with great crowds and it was always my first choice,” he told First News.
“The fact that in Bryan Gunn they have a manger who was a great goalkeeper himself was also a factor and although there is a big challenge ahead for the club, I'm really looking forward to being part of it."
Despite his consistency over four years with the Victory, Theoklitos is yet to earn his first Socceroos cap, even though he was called up to the national team camp by Pim Verbeek earlier this year.
The move overseas is likely calculated to attract the attention of the Dutchman as competition increases for the three goalkeeping slots that Verbeek will fill in his 2010 World Cup squad, with Middlesbrough’s Brad Jones, Reading’s Adam Federici and Sivasspor’s Michael Petkovic the prime candidates behind first-choice Mark Schwarzer.
However, Theoklitos remains eligible to represent his ancestral Greece on the international stage, where competition for a national team place is considerably less fierce.
Chris Paraskevas, Goal.com
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