Norwich City defender Timm Klose has joined Swiss side FC Basel on a season-long loan deal.
The deal includes an option to buy at the end of the loan, for an undisclosed fee.
Klose has made over 128 appearances for the Canaries since joining from Wolfsburg in January 2016, scoring 10 times, including a dramatic injury-time equaliser against Ipswich Town in 2018. His last appearance came in the EFL Cup defeat at Luton Town in September.
The move sees Klose link up with his boyhood club, the 32-year old having joined Basel's academy in 2004. He made almost 50 appearances for the club's Under-21 side, before leaving for FC Thun in 2009.
Klose is expected to make his senior debut for the club after the international break, with Basel currently fifth in the table after three league games.
"It makes me proud to be able to wear the colours of my boyhood club"
Speaking to Basel's website following the move, Klose has spoken of his pride at securing a return to St. Jakob-Park:
“I am extremely happy that the moment has now come and that I will soon be able to run into the Joggeli myself. Now I no longer have to sit in front of the TV with my FC Basel jersey and cheer them on.
"It makes me proud to be able to wear the colours of my boyhood club and to play in the city where my family and friends are at home.
“From now on I will give everything to bring my strength and emotions for Basel to the field.”
Basel President Bernhard Burgener has also spoken of his happiness to have secured Klose's signature:
“I am very pleased that with Timm Klose we have been able to sign a personality and a leading player who will strengthen our team with his many years of international experience on and off the pitch.”
A good move for Basel, but Norwich left exposed
The loan deal concludes Basel's long-standing interest in the Swiss international, and in Klose the 20-time Swiss champions have secured a player with a wealth of experience in the Premier League and Championship, as well as the Bundesliga with previous club VfL Wolfsburg.
For Klose too, the move represents good business. The towering centre-back, although popular amongst fans and praised for his attitude by manager Daniel Farke, had fallen down the pecking order at Carrow Road. Alongside a recurring knee injury, teammates Ben Godfrey, Christoph Zimmerman and Grant Hanley kept Klose out of the starting XI, and thus this deal offers more game time at a club with which Klose has a deep personal connection.
But many Norwich fans may be perplexed about the timing of the move. Klose is the second centre-back to leave the club in the space of a week, with Godfrey departing for Everton on Monday in Norwich in a deal worth around £30 million. With Klose now following his former teammate out of the door, Norwich are left reliant on Zimmerman and Hanley, both of whom have struggled with injuries in recent months.
Recent loan signing Ben Gibson will certainly aid selection problems, and the Norfolk club's academy have a strong recent record in producing talented young defenders. But should injury strike again, Farke may be forced to turn to veteran defensive midfielder Alex Tettey or new signing Thomas Sorensen for cover, potentially leaving Norwich exposed to the ruthless nature of the Championship.