Norwich have reportedly struck an £8.5m deal with Sporting Lisbon for Dutch striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel.
The Canaries are desperate to boost their firepower after their distinct lack of goals caused their season to capitulate after a strong showing in the autumn.
They were linked with a host of names in the January window, including Gary Hooper and van Wolfswinkel himself but, with both of their parents clubs unwilling to sell mid-season, Chris Hughton was forced to bolster his arsenal with the somewhat inferior Luciano Becchio and Kei Kamara.
With the deal thought to be in place, discussions between the player’s representatives and the Carrow Road outfit are due to take place in the summer and should the Canaries seal the deal, van Wolfswinkel would represent a massive coup for the club.
Last season was the Dutch marksman’s first in Portuguese football and he didn’t hang about in demonstrating what talent he is, bagging 23 goals in 38 appearances.
This sort of form saw he linked with moves to the Manchester giants last summer and it’s possible that his desire to switch to the English top tier has hampered his second season with Sporting. He hasn’t been anywhere near as deadly this time around – only scoring nine in 23 thus far – but his team have struggled in every aspect on the field, and most off it, meaning chances will not have been as forthcoming.
The Norfolk club’s lack of goals is what has threatened to hoover them back up into the relegation dust-bag in recent months, with Stoke (27) and QPR (26) the only two sides who have had the ball in the back of the net on fewer occasions.
This fundamental flaw has seen Norwich pick up just one win in 13 Premier League games and, while they remain tough to break down (they’ve lost just one of their previous seven), they’re giving off the impression of a team that’s stumbling towards the finish line rather than one that doesn’t want the season to end.
Still, it would take something drastic for the Canaries to find themselves in the bottom three when the curtain falls on the final day of the campaign, as their price of 18/1 to be relegated insinuates.
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