Ricky van Wolfswinkel reveals Chris Hughton’s supposed transfer plans for Norwich City
- Credit: Press Association Images
Canaries signing Ricky van Wolfswinkel has been defending his decision to move to Norfolk in the summer – and revealed one or two of manager Chris Hughton's other transfer plans.
The Dutchman will leave financially crippled Portuguese giants Sporting Lisbon at the end of the season and head to Carrow Road in a move which has surprised many people in the football world but which has delighted the Yellow and Green army.
However, in an interview with the Dutch football magazine Voetbal International, Van Wolfswinkel has reportedly become frustrated at having to justify the reasons behind his transfer – which is costing Norwich an estimated £8.5m.
'I see the transition from the Portuguese Liga Sagres to the Premier League as a great step forward,' said the 24-year-old.
Van Wolfswinkel – who recently spent three days in the city – says he was impressed by City boss Chris Hughton – and his transfer plans.
'The intention is that the club in the coming months will also capture an attacking midfielder and two wide players,' he is reported as saying. 'I recently went to see things for three days in Norwich and the conversations I had with the manager and what the technical director claimed were decisive.'
Van Wolfswinkel is clearly the biggest deal of Hughton's nine months at Carrow Road, but the rumour mill has also linked him with a move for Lazio centre-back Modibo Diakite, reportedly beating Liverpool to his signature.
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Reports in Italy claimed a pre-contract has already been signed with the 26-year-old Frenchman, although Canaries chief executive David McNally wrote on Twitter yesterday that there was 'nothing in that whatsoever'.
Meanwhile, Hughton's men are slowly edging towards another season in the Premier League, lying seven points clear of the drop zone heading into the final eight games. And Van Wolfswinkel feels next season will see the Norfolk club looking up towards a top-10 finish.
Van Wolfswinkel added: 'The club is in the middle of the table and very ambitious, this summer they will be debt free and will get on strong. Norwich can look to play in the top half of the table.'
Hughton, who tracked Van Wolfswinkel during the January transfer window along with Celtic striker Gary Hooper, believes the 6ft 2ins frontman can bring some much-needed goal power to his side, who have often deployed captain Grant Holt as a lone striker this season.
Van Wolfswinkel is determined to repay that confidence next season.
'That a club would spend so much money, in these times, shows their faith in me,' he said.
'I don't know much about Norwich, but the city and the club surprised me – the stadium has 25,000 (capacity) and there are 5,000 fans on a waiting list for (season) tickets on top of that which shows the status of the club.
'I had a good talk with the manager, Chris Hughton. He was very specific about my qualities and wants to build a strong team around him. That gives good trust.'
Van Wolfswinkel started his career with Vitesse Arnhem before switching to FC Utrecht ahead of a £4.5m transfer to Sporting in 2011, where he netted 25 times last term and so far has 14 to his name this season. The Holland forward hopes his switch to England will help build his international aims, having made his debut for the Oranje squad in August 2010.
'That is always my aim,' he added. 'For me it is important to be in a team where I can play every week. I want to play as high as possible, but also in a team where there is a lot of perspective – that is what Norwich City has, and that is why I have signed there for four years.'
Closer to home, Cardiff are reportedly hoping to extend centre-half Leon Barnett's loan, while Brighton are said to be keen on taking striker Simeon Jackson on a temporary deal.