With Bennett potentially leaving Wolves, would you like to see the defender return to City?
PUBLISHED: 19:04 29 January 2020 | UPDATED: 19:41 29 January 2020
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Former Norwich City defender Ryan Bennett could be allowed to leave Wolves ahead of Friday’s transfer deadline, with several clubs reportedly interested in the centre-back.
Press Association Sport report this evening that Wolves "could be willing to offload" the 29-year-old, who spent part of his childhood growing up in the Great Yarmouth area.
Bennett became an important player at Wolves during his first two seasons with the club but has fallen out of favour under Nuno Espirito Santo and PA Sport claim there is interest from the Premier League, Championship and Scottish Premiership.
Those clubs are not named but it's likely that only Celtic or Rangers could afford the centre-back's wages north of the border, and that only top Championship clubs would have a chance of persuading a player of Bennett's calibre to drop back down to the second tier.
The former England Under-21 defender was signed from Peterborough for around £3.5million on deadline day of the January 2012 window, rejecting Swansea to join the Canaries and going on to make 118 appearances until he was released at the end of the 2016-17 season.
During a spell full of highs and lows it was largely felt that Bennett never quite fulfilled his potential with Norwich, and he was one of seven big earners released following the arrival of sporting director Stuart Webber, with players including John Ruddy, Sebastien Bassong and Steven Whittaker not having their contracts renewed as the club cut costs.
Both Ruddy and Bennett joined big-spending Wolves and were key players in a Championship title success in their first season. Ruddy has since played second fiddle to Portugal keeper Rui Patricio in the top flight but Bennett started 34 games as Wanderers finished seventh and qualified for the Europa League.
However, he has been left out of their last two squads and has not made an appearance since a 2-1 defeat at Watford on New Year's Day, with young defender Max Kilman ahead of him in the pecking order and Willy Boly fit again after an ankle injury.
Wolves did allow Jesus Vallejo's loan from Real Madrid to be cut short and that exit could yet convince Santo to hang on to Bennett, the PA report adds, but he has started just three of the last 20 league games.
Leander Dendoncker and Romain Saiss have both been preferred ahead of Bennett, who has 18 months left on his current deal. The former Grimsby skipper has made 92 appearances and scored three goals but it seems his time at Molineux could be coming to an end.
Bennett turns 30 in March and spoke in December about his intention to return to Norfolk to live one day, ahead of Wolves' 2-1 win at Carrow Road, a game which he watched from the bench.
"It was the first club that really took a chance on me and gave me the opportunity, so I'll always be thankful for that," he told the Express & Star newspaper.
"The staff were always brilliant there and I still have friends there. It's a town my family are going to grow up in and I'm going to move back to eventually.
"It's a place that I associate with a lot of fond memories."
Bennett also made an appearance in the away end during City's 1-1 draw at Derby during the 2018-19 season, watching Daniel Farke's eventual champions in action alongside former Canaries team-mates Ruddy and James Maddison.
Initially signed by Paul Lambert, Bennett started the final eight matches of the season as City finished 12th in the Premier League in 2012 but struggled to hold down a place during Chris Hughton's first season, with Sebastien Bassong winning the club's Player of the Season award after an 11th placed finish in the top flight, mostly partnering Michael Turner.
It was a similar story the next season as the Canaries slipped to relegation and Bennett only made seven appearances during an injury-hit 2014-15, remaining on the bench during the successful play-off campaign under Alex Neil.
Bennett played a more prominent role after promotion, making 22 top-flight appearances, but again City slipped to relegation. He was a regular during the 2016-17 Championship season, with his exit largely dictated by finances after Webber's arrival.
Norwich have Christoph Zimmermann, Grant Hanley and Ben Godfrey as centre-back options currently and Timm Klose is hoping to return from a long-term knee injury in March, with Sevilla loanee Ibrahim Amadou linked with a potential early exit amid interest from Italian side Genoa in recent days, who has also played in central defence this season despite largely being a midfielder by trade.
City also still have one of their four loan slots to fill and should be able to afford his wages, if a deal is possible - although there has been no suggestion that a move has been made at this stage.
Bennett has often featured on the right side of a three-man defence during his time at Wolves, a speciality which could potentially benefit head coach Farke, with injuries often robbing him of that tactical option so far this season.
So, would you like to see the Canaries make a move ahead of Friday's 11pm deadline? Let us know in the poll above.
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