City face stiff Italian interest in Dennis Man
PUBLISHED: 12:42 10 July 2020 | UPDATED: 12:44 10 July 2020
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A trio of Serie A clubs are now being touted with Norwich City target Dennis Man - with the bidding for the Steaua Bucharest attacker set to start at €10m.
City’s interest in the 21-year-old Romanian international was confirmed by Steau owner Gigi Becali earlier this week.
But with the two clubs believed to be well apart on their respective valuations, Gazzetta dello Sport report on Friday Atalanta and Sassuolo have both made enquiries, while Cagliari could be interested if the price was to drop.
Romanian media outlets claimed earlier this week a City delegation watched Man during a Romanian Cup semi-final second leg match on Wednesday, a game in which he played the full 90 minutes against Dinamo Bucharest as a right winger, which Steaua won 1-0 at home to seal a 4-0 aggregate and a place in the final.
Romanian sports television channel DigiSport - which has over 800,000 followers on Facebook - are among the outlets carrying quotes from Becali following Steaua booking their place in the final.
“The sports director and the lawyer came,” said Becali. “I asked, they noted, and they said that what he’s playing at the moment isn’t worth 15 million pounds.
“I said yes, of course. They said he was worth five million pounds right now. Then I said it didn’t make sense to talk any more.
“It’s true he isn’t worth it at the moment, but he’s 21 years old. He will make 100 million in three years.
“They asked me if I would loan him and I told them no.”
Man has eight goals and five assists to his name from 28 games in all competitions so far this season, with 26-time champions Steaua finishing fourth in Liga One to qualify for the Championship Group, in which they remain fourth and on course for a place in the Europa League qualifiers ahead of next season.
They narrowly missed out on qualification for the Europa League group stages at the start of this campaign, losing 1-0 on aggregate to Portuguese side Vitoria Guimaraes. Man only played in three of their eight ties though due to an injury.
Becali claims that the Norwich representatives have returned to England to discuss a potential deal with their board of directors.
“I made a deal with them,” he continued. “Depending on the games to pay 10 million, plus five depending on how he plays there. That’s what they agreed on, they take him to play.
“They said they would talk to their owners and give an answer in a few days. I have no problem with Man leaving immediately.”
The Canaries are on the verge of being relegated back to the Championship but are in a solid financial position following a year in the Premier League, with young talents being linked with big money moves to keep them in the top flight this summer.
Club scouts have been scouring Europe for affordable talent, with defensive midfielder Melvin Sitti signed from French second tier club Sochaux and Luxembourg forward Danel Sinani signed on a free from Dudelange in his homeland.
Coventry left-back Sam McCallum was also signed in a deal reportedly worth up to £3.5m in January and loaned back to the Sky Blues for the remainer of the season, winning the League One title.
US youth international striker Sebastian Soto has also been strongly linked, who has now left Hannover, as well as Sunderland talent Bali Mumba and Danish midfielder Jacob Lungi Sorensen of Esbjerg.
It seems Man is another target, with the skilful attacker having earned four senior international caps for Romania so far, having scored three goals in 16 games at U21 level for his country.
He previously had a trial at Manchester City, has been linked with interest from Manchester United previously and was included on the long list for a prestigious award in 2018, the Golden Boy.
Man was among the 100 under-21 players nominated that year, in an award founded by Italian newspaper Tutto Sport which has since evolved to feature nominations from the top sports newspapers across the continent, with Ajax defender Matthijs De Ligt the winner that year ahead of players including Kylian Mbappe and Trent Alexander-Arnold.
The player - who stands at around six foot tall - was also asked about his future after Wednesday’s game, with DigiSport quoting him as saying: “I don’t know, I don’t even think about it, I try to do my job as well as possible here at the club.
“Discussions have been and will be, I also read in the press. I have to keep my head on my shoulders and help my colleagues.
“If God keeps me healthy and I manage to transfer, so much the better.
“I think that any player from Romania, in any championship he will go to, will need some time to adapt. I try to prepare as best I can so that when I take the step elsewhere I will be prepared.”
Meanwhile, national newspaper ProSport claim that the Steaua owner has told them that Norwich were also impressed by attacking midfielder Darius Olaru, who set up the only goal on the night.
The 22-year-old Romania U21 international has scored six goals and assisted five during 35 games this season but only switched from fellow top flight team Gaz Metan Medias in January and is under contract until 2024.