Former Canaries target seals big-money move to Italy
- Credit: PA
Norwich City tried to sign Dennis Man last summer but now the Romania winger's brilliant form for Steaua Bucharest has earned him a big-money move to Italy.
The 22-year-old has joined Serie A side Parma, signing a contract until 2025 after a deal reportedly worth an initial £9.75million and a potential further £1.75m in add-on fees was sealed on Friday - with the player having had 18 months remaining on his Bucharest contract.
Steaua's outspoken owner went public on talks with the Canaries, to the disappointment of sporting director Stuart Webber, making outlandish claims of a potential deal in excess of £20m being possible as he tried to flush out other interested parties.
Subsequently, Man embarked on an outrageous run of form, claiming 17 goals and seven assists in 20 games - firing Steau to the top of the table and returning to senior duty on the international stage.
He joins a Parma team that are in trouble though, sitting second-from-bottom in Serie A with just two wins from 19 games, having changed managers this month to bring Roberto D'Aversa back to the club. Parma won the Uefa Cup twice in the 1990s but have been plagued by financial problems for much of the past 20 years and had to start afresh in the fourth tier in 2015 after bankruptcy.
Canaries chief Webber spoke about the very public transfer saga as he got stuck into the revamp of City's squad following relegation from the Premier League.
“I pop to Romania on holiday and the next thing I know it's being reported I'm in the house of a football club owner and a very good player,” joked Webber, speaking to us in July. “I can’t add too much to what has already been put out there.
“I'm really disappointed it's come out. I don’t believe in doing business that way and I won’t give him the satisfaction of saying anything they can take and run with. We’ll see.
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"We're in for lots of players at the minute and we're close on three or four things and I'm sure when the dust settles on this season we will quickly show our actions.
“What I would say is we are in a place where we can invest a higher amount in talented players, rather than trying to find talent on the cheap. Now we can invest more money in that area.”
Feyenoord and Monaco were among the many clubs linked with Man, with the player's agent moaning about club's being unwilling to meet Steaua's valuation of the winger.
City moved on from the unusual way Steaua's owner was trying to do business and instead signed Przemek Placheta from Slask Wroclaw in a deal reportedly worth around £2million initially.
The speedy 22-year-old has scored once and assisted once in 20 games for City so far, showing plenty of potential but not quite finding his form in England yet, clattering the crossbar during a recent 1-0 defeat at Barnsley in the FA Cup and also winning two penalties in the Championship earlier in the season.
He earned his first two senior caps for Poland in November but he missed six games in December with a hamstring injury and has been getting back up to full speed this month.