signing of the 2004 pre-season was Moroccan international midfielder
Youssef Safri who was set to join them from Coventry City on July
8t for an initial fee of £500,000. The tough-tackling 27-year-old
is set to put pen to paper on a two-year contract for the Canaries,
subject to the club receiving a work permit.
Canaries' manager Nigel Worthington
said: "I'm delighted to capture a player of Youssef's
quality. He's a very good passer of the ball and a hard worker
who tackles well. He increases our options in midfield and his
signing will help to further promote healthy competition for places
in the squad, which is important."
Safri had one year remaining on his Sky Blues contract after
joining them from Raja Casablanca in August 2001, when he teamed
up with his compatriot, Youssef Chippo, in the Coventry squad.
He has become an integral part of the Moroccan national side during
his time with the Midlands club, and played a major role in their
successful African Cup of Nations campaign earlier in the year,
when the Atlas Lions were beaten finalists.
Coventry boss Peter Reid had very little time to work alongside
Safri but wished him well at his new club. He said: "We're
sorry to see Youssef leave. There is no doubting his class. He
is a quality international footballer but every player carries
a value and he had made it very clear that he wanted to play in
In three years Safri made 98 appearances for the Sky Blues, scoring
In October 2005, reports from Holland suggested that Dutch giants
Feyernoord were interested in Safri, with a figure of £1.5million
In July 2007, reports from the West Midlands suggested that West
Brom were preparing a bid for Safri to replace Wigan-bound Jason
Koumas. Further rumours linked him wth Southampton and Charlton.
When Safri missed morning training to pick up an agent and then
turned up late for the club's photo call ahead of the new season,
Peter Grant fined him a week's wages, left him out of the squad
to play West Ham in a pre-season friendly and said that Safri
would never play for the club again. The latter came true when
he moved to Southampton on 2nd August for a fee reported to be
around £250,000. Safri becomes George Burley's fifth new
signing of the summer after Marek Saganowski, Adam Hammill, Gregory
Vignal and Alan Bennett
Safri captained the Moroccan side at the 2008 African Cup of
Nations, playing in all three of their matches as they failed
to qualify from the group stages
In July 2008, Safri transferred to Qatar Sports Club in the Middle
East for a fee of £275,000
At the endo of the 2013 season he retired and started a role
of assisting coach in his first club Raja Casablanca.