Wigan agree fee to sign Holt
Ricky van Wolfswinkel is in no doubt he can plunder plenty of
goals for Norwich City and is not fazed by his hefty price-tag.
Canaries boss Chris Hughton has signed the 24-year-old
Netherlands international striker for a reported
Â£8.5million from Sporting Lisbon.
Hughton believes the signing of Van Wolfswinkel could be “the
one that turns some of our draws into wins”.
Norwich were short on firepower last season, with the team
averaging just over a goal a game in the Premier League.
Van Wolfswinkel weighed in with 14 strikes for Sporting – the
fourth highest of any player in Portugal’s Primeira Liga – and
notched three in their Europa League campaign.
His transfer fee is almost three times the amount Norwich paid
Crewe Alexandra to sign Dean Ashton over eight years ago, but Van
Wolfswinkel is not feeling any additional pressure.
“It shows me Norwich have a lot of confidence in me,” he said in
the Daily Star Sunday. “If anything, I see it more as a
“I’m confident of scoring goals. That’s part and parcel of my
job, but the most important thing for me is I am a team
Huth has been a regular in the Potters’ back four since joining
them from Middlesbrough in 2009, but he faces increased competition
for a starting spot next season under new boss Mark Hughes.
Although primarily a left-back, Pieters can play as a
centre-back, while Muniesa has stated his preference to play in the
centre of defence.
Huth told the club’s official website: “It’s always good to have
someone to hopefully improve your game.
“Game on – everyone’s place is up for grabs. All the positions
that were occupied last season are there to be taken with a new
manager. I’ve got to keep my head together and stay fit and see
“I’ve seen both Erik and Marc play on TV and I’m looking forward
to meeting them on Monday when we report back.”
Huth is raring to go as he prepares to return to training after
doing some additional fitness work over the summer.
The 28-year-old Germany international added: “I like to do a bit
of hard work before we report back, so next week when we do start
officially I won’t get the aches and pains that I normally get.
“I personally look forward to pre-season. It’s a chance to get
away with the lads, we are going to the United States for almost
two weeks and to France as well I think. It will be hard work, but
it’s something to enjoy as well.”
Jol has already brought in Venezuela centre-back Fernando
Amorebieta, Ghana midfielder Derek Boateng and Holland goalkeeper
Maarten Stekelenburg on free transfers so far this summer.
The Cottagers boss has been heavily linked with moves for
Tottenham midfielder Tom Huddlestone and is expected to seal a
swoop soon for Wolves winger Bakary Sako, with talks already
confirmed by the League One club.
In addition, Jol could bring Cameroon international Eyong Enoh
back to west London after the defensive midfielder impressed on
loan from Ajax in the second half of last season.
Jol said: “We were quite early getting Amorebieta and the others
– we are very happy to have them on board. It’s always nice to
integrate them, and take the new players away with us.
“We are still working on one or two – we want them going with us
as well. There will be one or two coming back, because we had a few
loan players. I’ll try to get them in now, because 14 players are
left and we’re still working on five or six players to come to this
“Three are already here so that was good, because most of the
time you do your business late. This was quite early, so that was a
Fulham will play three pre-season friendlies against Costa Rican
Primera Division clubs at the Estadio Nacional in the capital of
Next Sunday, they meet last season’s Verano championship
runners-up Cartagines, followed by a midweek clash against Bryan
Ruiz’s former club Alajuelense who were Invierno champions in
The tour concludes with Fulham taking on the most successful
club in Costa Rican football history, Deportivo Saprissa, on
Saturday 20 July.
The Belgium international joined from Sunderland last month and
is not afraid of the battle for the number one jersey.
“That’s always what has happened when there’s competition,”
Mignolet said. “I’ve had competition in Sunderland and in Belgium
with the national team.
“It’s not only Pepe – there’s a lot of good goalies at
Liverpool, like Brad Jones for example – and it’s not only the
position of the goalie where there is competition. It’s every
single position on the field.
“There are only 11 players who can play and it is something that
is normal with being a football player. You have to deal with that.
Competition can only make you as an individual better and let you
perform better. It can only be a positive thing.
“From the talks I had with the manager and the goalkeeping coach
I felt they were very ambitious and the club wants to get
“The signings they’d already done before July showed they really
wanted to get going. They want to push on again in the Premier
League. It was obvious that they are an ambitious club and a big
“I know how big a club this is but I think I’m only going to
feel it once the games get going. The first few training sessions
went okay. I’m very happy to be here and train.”
The 29-year-old has rejoined Russian outfit Anzhi Makhachkala,
with Rangers recouping almost all the Â£12.5million fee
they spent on him in January.
With such a considerable boost to Harry Redknapp’s transfer
coffers, and with the parachute payments from the Premier League,
Samba hopes his old club can spend wisely and return to the top
flight at the first attempt.
“Rangers already have a great squad,” said Samba. “But it’s true
that with the money they’ve got, I hope they do some smart
recruitment to get the players they need to face the battle for
Samba has paid tribute to QPR chairman Tony Fernandes, who was
keen to retain the giant defender’s services at Loftus Road.
“Tony Fernandes is a great man,” Samba added to the Sunday
Mirror. “He wanted to keep me and help him back up, but I believe
the offer from Russia was too good to let it pass by.
“It was a big decision and not one that was easy to make. I
wanted to help the club to get straight back into the Premier
League, where they should be.
“I was not planning to go anywhere. I wanted to reward the club
for their support. I was getting mentally prepared for the battle
in the Championship.”
Samba was plagued by knee problems during his six-month spell in
west London, meaning he only made 10 starts in the Premier League,
the last being a 2-0 home defeat by Stoke City on April 20th.
“I wasn’t 100 per cent fit,” said the former Blackburn Rovers
man, “So, I couldn’t give my best to the club and the fans who
deserved better. They are great fans and then stood by the team
despite the results.”
The Latics will now discuss personal terms with the 32-year-old,
who has been with the Canaries since 2009.
Holt netted 15 league goals in Norwich’s first season back in
the top flight in 2011/12, but he only scored eight Premier League
goals last term and City manager Chris Hughton has been actively
seeking reinforcements up front.
The former Sheffield Wednesday, Rochdale, Nottingham Forest and
Shrewsbury striker does have a prolific record in the Football
League, though, and new Latics boss Owen Coyle wants Holt to
spearhead his strike-force in the Championship as Wigan seek an
immediate return to the Premier League.
Sky Bet had earlier suspended their betting on Holt’s next club
after he was repeatedly backed at 1/5 to join Wigan.
Sky Bet football trader Chris Spicer said: “We had to pull the
plug on Holt’s market due to the sheer volume of bets we’ve taken
“Our customers have been queuing up to back the move, which was
an even-money price just two days ago and as long as 8/1 last