‘Nelson Oliveira is a good striker’ – Reading boss responds to report of talks with out-of-favour Norwich player
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Reading boss Jose Gomes has admitted he is a fan of Norwich City's out-of-favour striker Nelson Oliveira, amid fresh speculation linking the Portugal international with the Royals.
It's a rumour which just will not go away, giving Canaries and Royals fans a sense of déjà vu as Oliveira is linked with a move to Berkshire for the third transfer window on the spin.
This time it's the Daily Mirror touting the transfer tale, claiming the new angle is that Reading now have a Portuguese manager who would be interested in the former Nottingham Forest loanee.
'Nelson Oliveira is a good striker,' Gomes told Football.London after his team's 2-1 loss at Derby this afternoon, following the report. 'I don't know if he will be our player or not, I cannot say.
'Like I have said before, it's difficult to answer this kind of question because I don't want to talk about players who are not ours.
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'If something new happens I will have all the pleasure to talk about the players.
'I know this player very well. In Portugal at one time everybody thought he could be our first striker in the national team. But this season he's not playing, that's all I know about the player.'
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The former Rio Ave boss succeeded Paul Clement at the Madejski Stadium last month and picked up his first win last weekend, winning 2-0 at home against promotion hopefuls Nottingham Forest.
Ahead of the Royals' game at Derby the Mirror claimed Gomes was 'trying to sign' Oliveira – who Norwich have been trying to move on since last summer – as he tries to get his team out of the relegation zone.
Signed from Benfica for around £5m in August 2016, the 27-year-old has scored 20 goals in 70 games for Norwich and proved popular during his first campaign with the club.
However, he publicly disrespected head coach Daniel Farke by waving his shirt in the head coach's face at Fulham on the opening day of last season, after coming off the bench to score and rescue a 1-1 draw.
He scored eight goals in 40 games under Farke but just one in his last 22, shooting wildly from long distance and seemingly on a different wavelength to his team-mates.
Sporting director Stuart Webber has made it clear since last summer that the player and club want to part ways, with his contract due to run until 2020, but as yet Oliveira has been restricted to three goals in four under-23 games.
One of the striker's former loan clubs, Swansea, and Turkish club Besiktas have also been linked with January interest and now Reading have entered the mix again.
With Oliveira thought to be one of City's higher earners, it seems most likely that a loan deal for the remainder of the season would bring a temporary resolution, allowing for a potential summer sale if he can find some form.