August 2 2014 Latest news:
Friday, May 30, 2014
Portugese champions Benfica have dismissed local media claims that they are interested in signing Norwich City’s misfiring striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel.
Daily sports newspaper A Bola this morning claimed Benfica boss Jorge Jesus is keen on a potential move to bring van Wolfswinkel back to Lisbon, where he scored 28 goals in 55 games during a two-year stint at city rivals Sporting Lisbon before his club-record £8.5m move to Carrow Road last summer.
The much-heralded Dutch international scored just one goal in 27 appearances for the Canaries in a campaign which ended in Premier League relegation.
The Lisbon-based A Bola claim Jesus has asked Benfica president Luís Filipe Vieira to look into the possibility of a deal with Norwich this summer to entice the 25-year-old to return.
However, Benfica have released a statement on their website this afternoon bemoaning the “parade of names” it is expecting the media to suggest they are interested in this summer.
It states that van Wolfswinkel is “not part of the plans of the club” before concluding: “Sport Lisboa e Benfica continue to work within the objectives set and not according to what some sports agents want Benfica do.”
Benfica will compete in the Champions League next season after finishing seven points clear of their city rivals Sporting to lift a 33rd domestic title.
The Canaries’ top brass have made it clear they are under no pressure to sell any of their first-team squad but new boss Neil Adams has prioritised attacking reinforcements to bolster a strikeforce which was the lowest scorers in the Premier League last season.