I was away over the weekend for a belated celebration of my birthday with Mrs T in London.
It was my birthday last week and we’d decided to make a weekend of it after I scored tickets to see U2 at Twickenham on the Saturday night. I got tickets to see Les Miserables as a concession to the missus on the Friday and we thoroughly enjoyed it.
While we were away, Jonny Howson was sold, so there I am typing up a brief report at ‘Jamie’s Diner’ in Piccadilly, pre-theatre. There was also the small matter of a pre-season outing for the boys in yellow at Lowestoft which I had to miss as a result, with the talking point being Nelson Oliveira.
On Friday night, a report was published by HITC Sport suggesting that Nelson Oliveira was a target for Reading FC. At about the same time, a tweet came out from a freelance journo named Pete O’Rourke, who used to work for Sky Sports, along the same lines.
Both HITC and Pete have been right on a number of transfer issues over the years while I’ve been the Editor of VN and you’ve been reading stuff I’ve written with them both as the source.
On this occasion though, something just didn’t feel right. Sometimes you get just a hunch that things aren’t quite what they seem. As I hope you’ve realised by now, I don’t just publish anything and always want a decent source to base my transfer news on.
In this case, especially with HITC even though I had that, I just wasn’t comfortable so waited till the morning and knocked up a quick piece to discuss it, by which time Michael Bailey had tweeted that it was basically rubbish and City weren’t selling Nelson to Reading.
Then Nelson played and scored against Lowestoft on Saturday afternoon.
Although Daniel Farke was a little noncommittal on the subject when quizzed by the local media guys after the game.
Then, after I’ve watched the mighty U2 celebrate 30 years of The Joshua Tree (it came out just as I was leaving school), I get a message from one of my writers, Hunter Yeats. I’m on the platform at Hounslow East awaiting a tube back to Earl’s Court and I’m looking at a screen shot of an article from the Reading Chronicle, which states that an £8m fee has been agreed for Nelson Oliveira between Norwich and Reading.
There I am on my iPhone, reporting the story on the tube as we travelled home but it still didn’t seem right. Surely we couldn’t be selling Nelson for ‘only’ £8m, could we?
There is no smoke without fire though, so someone somewhere probably ‘wished’ this would happen, most likely from a Reading point of view.
There though in black and white, the Chronicle were reporting that an £8m offer had been accepted. Luckily our local paper, the Eastern Daily Press, don’t print such nonsense so quickly and without factual basis – it seems to me that the Saturday night story was based on the Friday night one.
Norwich paid £5m for Nelson and he signed a four year deal last summer. That means, after performing as he did he is arguably worth quite a bit more than that now, as a ‘proven’ Championship striker.
I thought at the time we paid a little over the odds for him as he hadn’t exactly set the world alight during his previous loans in Britain but the boy did okay. So much so that he is our first choice striker now.
Getting back to his value now though, surely he’d have to be worth at least double what we paid for him. £10m plus the wages that would command. Aston Villa have shown the way in that respect so that every agent would now be asking for £40k a week ala Ross McCormack.
Could Reading afford that?
No, basically. They have recently been taken over by a Chinese/Thai consortium that I know enquired about buying Norwich City but were knocked back.
Hear the words ‘Chinese consortium’ and you expect a huge outlay of cash in player investment, like Aston Villa’s Dr Tony Xia – money no object, even if it means paying way over the odds.
Reading’s new owners don’t look to be in that vein though. Indeed, Jaap Stam was recently quoted as saying not to expect the Royals to be spending ‘millions and millions’ this summer.
I just think that Nelson is out of their price range but that’s not to say that others may not be interested.
‘Every player has a price’ said Stuart Webber, rather soon after his arrival in Norfolk, and he’s right.
If someone could afford to offer Barcelona a billion euros for Lionel Messi, they would sell him, the same goes for Madrid and Ronaldo. It’s all relative though and nowhere near that would be required to sign Nelson Oliveira, but hopefully you catch my drift.
If a club like, say, Newcastle offered Norwich £10-12m for Nelson, then I’d expect Norwich to sell him. That wouldn’t be lacking ambition, that would be being sensible because I have little doubt that Daniel Farke could point Stuart Webber in the direction of a player just as effective as Nelson for quite a bit less than that.
It would be good business and that’s where we are.
The same principle goes for any player in our squad. There are around 7-8 weeks of the transfer window left yet and there will be plenty more twists and turns for Norwich yet. There will be more players incoming and could easily be some more departures.
Will Timm Klose remain a Canary come the window closing? Who knows?
In the meantime, I’ll try to keep abreast of it all and keep you up to date with what’s happening.
Keep calm, we’re not selling Nelson to Reading BUT don’t be surprised and have a meltdown if he or someone else is sold for a handsome sum to a rather more cash free club than the Royals.
Keep it Vital Norwich and when I know, you’ll know.