Norwich City transfer rumours: Canaries in the race for Benfica ace

PUBLISHED: 08:39 24 June 2019 | UPDATED: 08:40 24 June 2019

Norwich City's top brass are being linked with a loan move for Benfica attacking midfielder Filip KrovinovicPicture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich City's top brass are being linked with a loan move for Benfica attacking midfielder Filip KrovinovicPicture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Paul Chesterton

Benfica’s attacking midfielder Filip Krovinovic is set for a loan move from the Portuguese heavyweights - with City a possible destination.

City were linked in the Portuguese press on Friday with the 23-year-old, who is back on the comeback trail after recovering from a long term knee injury.

Benfica want game time for the Croatian Under-21 international, with Vitória Guimarães and Hajduk Split in his homeland touted as options earlier this summer.

Guimarães had been leading the race as they look to bolster their squad for a Europa League campaign and Portuguese outlet, O'Jogo, reported over the weekend Guimarães are still pressing ahead with plans for a loan move.

O'Jogo claim Guimarães have spoken to Benfica officials since news of Norwich's reported interest and will continue talks, although Krovinovic will not link up with Guimarães when they report for pre-season training on Monday.

West Brom were also touted with the midfielder over the weekend, following the appointment of former Croatian national boss Slaven Bilic.

Portuguese sports newspaper, Record, previously suggested the Canaries are in advanced discussions for Krovinovic, who operates behind the striker in the number 10 role, after 'jumping to the front of the queue'. Benfica reportedly prefer a Premier League option to increase the Croatian midfielder's transfer value by operating in the highest profile league in the world.

The right-footed attacker made 12 appearances in an injury-disrupted season for Benfica, but was behind the likes of teenage sensation João Félix for the Lisbon club.

Krovinovic has indicated he is open to a loan move next season as he looks to force his way into Croatia's Euro2020 plans.

Norwich have been linked with a number of attacking midfield options ahead of their return to the Premier League.

Sonny Kittel claimed he opted for Hamburg over a possible Carrow Road move while Motherwell youngster David Turnbull is now set for Celtic. City held talks with the teenger and his representatives after agreeing a fee with the Scottish Premiership outfit.

Norwich have so far recruited Manchester City youngster Patrick Roberts on a season long loan deal to Daniel Farke's senior set-up, but sporting director Stuart Webber made it clear that would not be the last loan adddition for the Championship winners.

LIKELIHOOD: Clearly the type of technically proficient midfielder favoured by Daniel Farke. A cruciate ligament injury early last season curtailed his first team action, although worth pointing out he was fit and available from November onwards. The emergence of the likes of Benfica's teenage sensation, João Félix, would have further hindered his hunt for game time.

Norwich are also clearly in the market for attacking reinforcements in that area of the pitch. A loan deal would fit the financial template and Roberts will not be the the last deal of that type this summer.

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