It’s been an interesting 24 hours in the Canary nation, with a huge amount of rumours and transfer speculation.
First we had the Sky Sports report that City had made a bid for Palermo midfielder, Oscar Hiljemark and then we had the shock from AS in Spain, as they reported that Ricky van Wolfswinkel was about to return to Norfolk with his loan being cancelled.
Twitter immediately went into meltdown as the RvW fan club worked themselves up into a lather. My learned colleague, Savvy Monkey was prompted to tweet ‘Whatever the question was, I’m pretty sure Ricky van Wolfswinkel is not the answer.’
Here, here, I say.
These rumours, despite their illustrious sources, were quickly shot down by the EDP’s Paddy Davitt. Paddy described the Hiljemark story as ‘Jackanory’ and said there’s nothing in the RvW stuff either.
One assumes that Paddy has a contact or two at the club and that he’s more ‘in the know’ than the rest of us – it is his job, after all.
Bologna are reported to be interested in taking Youssouf Mulumbu on loan for the rest of the season, which is a strange one. Not for Bologna but from a Norwich point of view.
Mulumbu was signed as cover/competition for Alex Tettey but we’ve seen very little of the former West Brom player of the season. Having broken a metatarsal in the final pre-season friendly against Brentford, he has made just a handful of appearances since he recovered.
I can only assume that he isn’t doing enough to convince Alex Neil of his worth. It’s all very well saying that he should be given a chance (like Kyle Lafferty) but Alex is the boss and he sees these lads day in and day out. If he doesn’t think they’re good enough then that’s that.
On Thursday lunchtime came the slightly surprising news from Italy that Norwich are actively pursuing Inter Milan left back, Davide Santon. Remember him? Italian, sharp hair cut, used to play for Newcastle.
Do we need new left back? If you ask me, I’d say that we do.
We have only one specialist there, in Martin Olsson and recently the gaffer has been playing Robbie Brady at left full back, a player that he openly has said he prefers to play further forwards.
The back four has been poor all season and Olsson is part of that problem. He likes to get forward but doesn’t like to take anyone on. If he has to, then he slows the play down, dawdles until it’s too late and usually passes backwards, thus losing momentum. At the other end, he’s not much of a defender either, too often getting caught out by the pace and positioning of attackers and that was just in the Championship.
I certainly wouldn’t be upset to see another left back arriving, especially one that has played over eighty times in the Premier League, has experience of Serie A (albeit not a lot) and eight caps for Italy.
Santon is reportedly available and Inter manager, Roberto Mancini already has a replacement in the pipeline. The only fly in the ointment would seem to be West Ham, who are also being linked with Santon.
The knee injury that Carl Jenkinson suffered last week, which is likely to see him miss at least the rest of the season, means Slaven Bilic has to turn to new signing Sam Byram and also that he’s short of cover at right back.
Fingers crossed eh?
Then, Thursday afternoon saw the Daily Mail and then The Mirror report that Norwich have made an offer to Chelsea for Patrick Bamford.
The link to Norwich has been going on since City were promoted at Wembley last May. Incidentally, the picture above shows him at Wembley looking suitably disappointed. I remember him sitting down on his own in the centre circle at full time and he sat there for ages.
I happen to think he’d be a decent addition to our squad though, preferably as a permanent signing, although the Mirror are reporting that Chelsea are insisting on a ‘buy back’ clause if a sale is made.
The Mail meanwhile, stated that Chelsea will make a quick decision on Bamford and that could all be decided by Thursday/Friday.
My sometime source of Norwich news, told me on Thursday afternoon that Alex Neil had to break a prior commitment on Thursday to attend to some ‘urgent business’ and that the club are hoping to do two bits of business before the weekend, one of which is a striker.
Santon and Bamford?
We’ll know soon enough.