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Norwich City transfer rumours: Portuguese giants want Canaries striker

PUBLISHED: 12:25 06 June 2019 | UPDATED: 16:51 06 June 2019

Teemu Pukki lashes home Norwich City's stoppage time winner at home to Bolton - one of 29 Championship goals last season 
from the Finnish star. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Teemu Pukki lashes home Norwich City's stoppage time winner at home to Bolton - one of 29 Championship goals last season from the Finnish star. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Paul Chesterton

Portuguese giants Benfica have been linked with a summer swoop for Norwich City striker Teemu Pukki.

Portuguese sportspaper A Bola has suggested the 29-year-old Finland international is on the Eagles' shortlist for fresh forward reinforcements ahead of next season.

The 2018-19 Liga Nos champions have reportedly already evaluated Pukki's effectiveness - and would have no doubt been hugely impressed given Pukki won the Championship golden boot with 29 goals on City's title-winning return to the Premier League, picking up numerous awards in the process.

The latest of those was footballer of the year from the Finnish Football Association.

A Bola added Pukki's characteristics would fit perfectly into the plans of head coach Bruno Lage, while money is unlikely to be an issue either. A Bola suggests Benfica's striker budget will run to €15m (£13.2m) while they are also in talks over the sale of young Portuguese star Joao Felix to Manchester City, with a reported £106m bid for the 19-year-old forward's services on the table.

Norwich City's joint majority shareholders Michael Wynn Jones and Delia Smith present Teemu Pukki with the Canaries' player of the season award. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus ImagesNorwich City's joint majority shareholders Michael Wynn Jones and Delia Smith present Teemu Pukki with the Canaries' player of the season award. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

The Eagles could offer Pukki Champions League football, although last season's cult City hero is also on record expressing his excitement at getting the chance to test himself in the Premier League, alongside feeling completely at home since switching to Norwich as a free agent 12 months ago - arguably the best value signing in Championship history.

- LIKELIHOOD

It's perhaps a surprise that Pukki's sensational season since leaving Brondby hasn't warranted more of this kind of speculation. That said, it would take the sort of money that City could use to improve their team further, to even contemplate losing such a crucial figure from their title-winning group.

Likewise, Pukki is clearly happy at Norwich and is already relishing the challenge of the Premier League - which is arguably a bigger draw than infrequent tests, albeit in European football's marquee competition.

Away from the direct speculation however, with Pukki contracted to Norwich until June 2021 and Benfica's potential interest surfacing, it does raise a question for one of City's genuine assets: at what point would any potential offer become too tempting to turn down?

- For the latest Norwich City news and opinion follow Michael Bailey on the following channels…

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