City complete van Wolfswinkel deal
- Credit: Atlantico/Press Association Images
Norwich City have pulled off a spectacular late night transfer coup after signing striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel on a four-year contract.
The Canaries were locked in talks with the Dutchman's club Sporting Lisbon on Thursday - and those negotiations reached a successful conclusion shortly after 11.30pm, with the player agreeing to join the Canaries during the summer.
There was no word from City on the fee they have paid the Portuguese club for van Wolfswinkel, with a statement saying only that he had agreed to sign for an undisclosed fee subject to relevant paper work being completed.
But reports from media outlets in Lisbon suggest the Canaries have splashed out a club record £8.5m deal for the capture of the 24-year-old frontman.
'Ricky's profile is a perfect fit for us – he's young, ambitious and a proven goal-scorer,' City boss Chris Hughton told the club's official website.
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'He has an excellent goal-scoring pedigree and he's a young man very keen to continue his personal progression and to play in England. He's already an exciting talent but he still has more development as a player ahead of him.
'I'm delighted we've been able to agree a deal with Sporting Lisbon and with Ricky and we look forward to welcoming him to the squad in July, once all of the paperwork gets sorted out.'
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Van Wolfswinkel, who is set to arrive at Carrow Road on July 1, has an impressive scoring record, having scored 82 goals in 188 appearances for Sporting and Dutch outfits FC Utrecht and Vitesse Arnhem.
Last season he scored 25 goals in all competitions and he has added 14 for Sporting so far in what has been a more challenging 2013-14 campaign,
Sporting is a listed company but the 18-time champions, struggling in 10th place in the table, are reported to be in big financial trouble – with debts of 260m euros.
It is thought the transfer will allow the club to pay two months' worth of backdated wages to its players and coaching staff.
Sporting are understood to have demanded at least 10 million euros for Van Wolfswinkel because of a complicated financial arrangement whereby they sold the Dutchman 65 per cent of their 'economic rights' for a total of about 3.5 million euros, and would therefore receive only 35 per cent of any transfer fee if he moves on.