City hot shot Pukki on Benfica interest

PUBLISHED: 10:01 19 June 2019 | UPDATED: 10:01 19 June 2019

Norwich City frontman Teemu Pukki is one of the hottest strikers in Europe 
Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich City frontman Teemu Pukki is one of the hottest strikers in Europe Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Paul Chesterton

Teemu Pukki is not angling for a move to Benfica as he looks to spearhead Norwich City’s Premier League charge.

The Canaries' player-of-the-year played his 56th and final outing of a gruelling campaign last week in Finland's Euro 2020 2-0 win against Liechtenstein.

Pukki's 30-goal club haul helped fire City to the Championship title in a stunning debut season following his free transfer arrival from Denmark.

The 29-year-old has been touted with the Portuguese giants this summer, after his headline-grabbing displays, but Pukki remains happy at Carrow Road.

"At least for the moment, I haven't given any weight to that type of stuff.

"Of course, if there were any offers, you should think about it. But I have a clear head," he said. "It's the thought that I am going back to Norwich. It was really good for me and my family. It's good to be in Norwich and that's why I see no reason to leave.

"I have a lot of expectations about (the Premier League). I still don't know how big the difference is compared to the Championship but I think I have a lot to give at that level too.

"It will probably be a different season to the last one, I can't see myself scoring 29 league goals but I am looking forward to it."

Pukki's final three goals of last season put Finland into a strong position to challenge Italy for top spot in their European Championship qualifying group.

The former Celtic frontman's brace against Bosnia and the opener in Leichtenstein moved him fifth on the all-time goalscoring list for his country with 18 goals, behind the likes of former Norwich loan striker Jonatan Johansson and one-time Chelsea striker Mikael Forssell.

Ex-Liverpool ace Jari Litmanen is the long term target for Pukki, with 32 international goals.

"I met him on my first national team trip in Japan. It was pretty surreal to be in the same team with Lit," said Pukki, speaking to Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat. "Of course I also followed Mikael as a young player. Litmanen gave you tips on how to run and when to run. I also got tips for finishing. Since then I have always tried to see what I could learn from attackers.

"I have a great respect for those giants. They've had some great careers. In that sense, I am proud of my own work.

"But you still have to make goals."

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