Date:Wednesday February 1 2012
Norwich City have won the race to sign Peterborough United`s England Under 21 central defender Ryan Bennett.
On a frustrating day for Peterborough United where all their attempts to bolster the squad failed, the day ended with a record fee being paid for a Peterborough United player!
Many people were expecting Bennett to leave once it was common knowledge that Swansea were in deep discussions to buy him but it came as a shock when it was announced that he had actually signed for Norwich City.
The fee for Bennett surpasses that of the £2.5 million received in the summer for striker Craig Mackail-Smith and the agreement sees Bennett return to London Road for a month on an emergency loan.
Bennett travelled to Norwich late last night to complete the paperwork on a three-and-a-half year deal just ahead of the 11pm deadline.
Peterborough United are desperately short of defensive cover and by having Bennett back for a month, it gives boss Darren Ferguson time to arrange a longer term loan from somewhere. If Fergie fails to bring anyone else in, it leaves the squad with just two recognised right backs and one central defender!
Peterborough United Chairman Darragh MacAnthony insists the deal was a good one for the club as he told the club website: "We knew when we signed Ryan from Grimsby that we were getting a player with fantastic potential and that is why we paid the money we did at the time. He has proved to be a superb signing and there have been Premier League scouts watching him at every game this season.
"Myself and the Gaffer had very little choice in the matter after the player informed us last night and again today that he wanted to leave for a Premier League club and didn't want the club to stand in his way. I have also always stated that I would never stand in a player's way should a Premier League club come in for them and offer us a heavy transfer fee at the same time.
"The Gaffer was given final call on this deal only a couple of hours ago and he decided that it was in best interest of Peterborough United Football club to accept the offer from Norwich. To think only 12 months ago, I was asked to send Ryan out on loan or to move him on and now he is moving to a top 12 Premier League club smashing our existing transfer record by a long way.
"Not only that, but it also once more backs the overall policy I have installed at Posh and will continue to follow. This transfer will only make us stronger as a club as we continue in our quest to establish ourselves in the Championship." MacAnthony said.
Bennett is not the first Posh player in recent history to play at Norwich. Former Posh full-backs Russell Martin and Adam Drury are currently plying their trade at Carrow Road.
Bennett has thanked chairman Darragh MacAnthony and boss Darren Ferguson for giving him the opportunity to further his career.
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