Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Dmitrij Niejmyrok

Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Dmitrij Niejmyrok

Portuguese media is reporting that Sporting Lisbon have sold Dutch striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel to Premier League club Norwich City in a deal expected to be around €10 million.

Wolfswinkel was rumoured to be on the move to England during the January transfer window but a formal move never materialized. The timing of the deal came as a surprise to many people.

Sporting only own 35% of Wolfswinkel’s rights, with the rest having been sold to a third party. Therefore, Os Leões will only receive around €3.5 million from this sale.

Wolfswinkel was bought from Dutch club Utrecht in 2011 for a reported €5.4 million. Thought never really hitting top form for the Portuguese side, Wolfswinkel was still popular with Sportinguistas.

The 24-year-old expressed his happiness to be in Lisbon this past January despite playing during turbulent times at Alvalade. Wolfswinkel still managed an impressive 39 goals in 81 appearances in all competitions for the club.

The move will not be made official until the end of the season, but sources indicate that Sporting will receive the transfer payment this week, which would allow them to make payroll.

Part of Portugal’s Os Três Grandes, Sporting have been plagued by rising debt, incompetent administration and poor performances on the field in recent years. Most estimates have the club’s debts at around €250 million.

The club’s board resigned in February after only two years in charge. Elections to replace outgoing president Luis Godinho Lopes will be held on March 23rd.

The deal comes as current manager Jesualdo Ferreira appears to be embracing the club’s youth academy once again. Sporting announced on Thursday that they would resign Portuguese defender Tiago Ilori to a new deal until 2015.

Ferreira does have a wealth of young promising strikers in the clubs system, including Portuguese Betinho, Chilian Diego Rubio, Cameroonian Gaël Etock and 22-year-old Wilson Eduardo who is currently on loan at Académica.

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