UPDATED RUMOUR MILL: Norwich City striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel in talks with Saint Etienne over a loan deal
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Norwich City's club-record signing Ricky van Wolfswinkel is attracting interest from French Ligue One club Saint Etienne, with reports in France on Friday claiming the Greens have now opened talks over a potential loan deal.
French radio station RMC was reporting on Friday morning Saint Etienne had targeted van Wolfswinkel to replace Brazilian striker Brandao, who has moved to SC Bastia this week and the Dutch striker's move could go through over the weekend if agreement can be reached with the Canaries.
French newspapers went further to suggest van Wolfswinkel arrived in Lyon on Thursday night ahead of a proposed medical for a season-long loan, with St Etienne having the option to buy the striker for a reported six million Euros. The French club would also pay van Wolfswinkel's entire salary during his stint in Ligue One this coming season.
The latest twist follows Skysports claim on Thursday the Greens were one of the two clubs van Wolfswinkel's agent, Louis Laros, revealed earlier in the week were prepared to offer the Dutch international an escape route. The former Sporting Lisbon striker scored one goal in 25 Premier League appearances following his move from Portugal 12 months ago.
Laros also stated van Wolfswinkel was willing to consider a potential short-term deal if City's top brass decided to get one of their bigger earners off the payroll.
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Laros, quoted in Voetbal International on Tuesday, made it clear two clubs 'outside England and Holland' had expressed an interest in signing the Dutch international whilst hinting van Wolfswinkel would struggle to accept a bit-part role in the Championship.
'The difference between supply and demand is such that I do not expect that there is a very quick decision,' Laros told the Dutch football magazine. 'Norwich City is willing to co-operate, but expect something in return...the Championship is not the stage on which he plays football.'
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The 25-year-old missed City's Italian training camp last week after damaging knee ligaments in a training ground collison with Declan Rudd after scoring a brace in a 6-1 friendly win at Braintree, but the striker is expected to be back in contention for the Championship kick-off.