According to French radio station ‘RMC” Saint Etienne have opened talks with Norwich City over a prospective loan deal for Ricky van Wolfswinkel.
Saint Etienne have just lost veteran Brazilian striker, Brando to Bastia and are looking for a replacement to head their attack for the forthcoming season.
This story is gathering pace now and it seems likely that if agreement can be made then the player will leave on loan for the season.
Les Verts finished fourth in Ligue 1 last season and qualified for the Europa League, which may be an added attraction to Ricky.
Although most of us want him to stay, he is the club’s highest earner (rumoured to be around £40k pw) and even with a relegation clause lowering his wages, it seems unlikely that he will be on a 50% wage drop.
Whatever the wage drop has been, the bottom line is, his is a wage that we could probably swallow for a year or so but if we don’t get promoted at the first time of asking then his salary could start to restrict other signings etc.
I would love him to stay but you have to say, he hasn’t shown what he did in Portugal. If he’d scored at least a few goals then Adams may want to keep him but ‘what if’ he doesn’t score in The Championship? It’s a big gamble and I suspect David McNally is not prepared to play fast and loose with our finances, having done so well to repay our debts.
If RvW goes to France and does well, then great, his value goes back up and he’s still our player. If we get promoted he could come back or we could sell him to get our money back.
Financially, this may be the best scenario.
In an ideal world, I’d like him to stay but I can see the board’s view and if Neil Adams is happy with Lafferty, Grabban and Hooper (hard to see him being happy with Becchio), then it would make sense. The failed signing of Callum Wilson was a sign that RvW would be surplus and that he may still be looking for another striker.
Since writing this piece an hour ago, reports in France from Le Progress and But! suggest that Ricky will have a medical today before signing on a season long loan for St. Etienne, today.
Looks like he’s off then. All the best Ricky, come back to us stronger and full of confidence.
Now, I hate to say “I told you so,” Graham…