Norwich City transfer rumours: AEK Athens make approach for Nelson Oliveira
PUBLISHED: 11:49 02 July 2019 | UPDATED: 11:52 02 July 2019
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Greek side AEK Athens have reportedly made an approach for Norwich City striker Nelson Oliveira, with Portuguese coach Miguel Cardoso aware of his compatriot’s top-level ability.
Oliveira is out of favour at Norwich and not expected to feature again under head coach Daniel Farke, with sporting director Stuart Webber revealing they expected the Portugal international to leave last summer.
However, he didn't end up leaving until January and then scored three goals in 10 games of an injury-hit spell with Championship club Reading.
With the Berkshire side under a 'soft transfer embargo' it has been reported that they cannot afford to make the move permanent without selling some players, despite Oliveira being pictured training with one of the Royals' fitness coaches ahead of pre-season.
Now Greek website Iapopsi.gr have claimed that Athens have entered the chase and would be prepared to cover the majority of the former Benfica striker's wages for the final year of his Canaries contract, believed to be worth over £20,000 per week.
The report also states that AEK want to buy Oliveira but doesn't mention a potential fee. The former Nottingham Forest and Swansea loanee has scored 20 goals in 70 games since being signed by Norwich for around £5m in 2016.
Athens won the Greek title for the 12th time in 2018 but finished third last season, 23 points adrift of champions PAOK Salonika, and will now have to qualify for the Europa League.
That prompted them to bring in former Celta Vigo and Nantes boss Cardoso this summer, who has previously held coaching roles at clubs in Portugal including Deportivo, Porto and Braga.
VERDICT: City fans are already aware there's very little chance of Oliveira featuring in a Norwich shirt again, it's just a case of finding the right move for him this summer.
While a fee would clearly be preferable - particularly for a player linked with a £12m move to Swansea two years ago - it's likely that just getting the striker's wages off the pay-roll would be a big boost.
As has been said many times, Oliveira has all the ability required to play at the top level, but now he needs a fresh start and a team where he fits in with the style on and off the pitch.
Norwich have Teemu Pukki and Josip Drmic as front-line striker options for the Premier League, with former loanee Jordan Rhodes still potentially returning to bolster the ranks and with Republic of Ireland U21 international Adam Idah hoping for chances to impress during pre-season.