'Teemu has a desire to play as high as possible' - Pukki's agent on City future
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Teemu Pukki's agent has admitted that the Finnish international wants to play at the top level next season but any deal to prise him away from Norwich City will prove difficult.
The 32-year-old striker was the Canaries' top scorer in the Premier League last season with 11 goals, matching the return of Michail Antonio, Phil Foden and Riyad Mahrez. Pukki is understood to be interesting teams at home and on the continent following Norwich's relegation.
Dean Smith 'envisaged' Pukki remaining at Norwich beyond the summer window, despite speculation linking him with a move elsewhere.
His agent, Teemu Turunen, has been speaking about Pukki's future at Carrow Road in the Finnish media and revealed that negotiations are underway with the club about a potential exit this summer, although conceded to MTV Urheilu that any deal could prove difficult.
"It is not the optimal situation that the club is in the Championship. That's clear.
"Negotiations are going on all the time. It is then a different matter whether it leads to anything. However, Teemu is the kind of player that every player should be, that as long as there is a contract, their own business is done with honour," Turunen added.
"The starting point is that Teemu will go back to Norwich for the training season, but if something happens here before the end of August, I don't know. Yes, Teemu has a desire to play as high as possible."
Norwich supporters are hoping that Pukki, who has scored more than 20 goals in both Championship campaigns with the club, will spearhead their fightback to the Premier League.
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For Turunen, City's own valuation of Pukki will make a deal hard to get done this summer. The striker's representative understands why the Canaries value the Finnish record goalscorer so highly after their own struggle for goals and recruitment that has been heavily criticised.
"The problem is that Teemu is too valuable a player for Norwich and that he is 32 years old," he said. "This equation is difficult to solve. The player is too valuable for the current club, and the player from the Premier League is too expensive for the alternative club.
"If you think about what has been acquired in Norwich in recent years, then money has been burned there as well.
"You don't get a cheap man with more than ten or more than twenty goals, as Teemu has been for the past few years. The other side of this is what Teemu represents to the club. He is a star player for fans, sponsors and the entire community. This creates a rather big value that an individual player creates for the club.
"Everything has its price in football, but at the moment the price tag of this equation may only be too high for the other party who would be ready to get the player in their ranks."