New deal for City defender amid reported interest from Liverpool, Spurs and Manchester United
PUBLISHED: 17:19 26 June 2019 | UPDATED: 17:40 26 June 2019
Highly-rated defender Ben Godfrey has become the latest of Norwich City’s title winners to sign a new contract.
The England Under-20 international signs fresh terms with the Canaries for the third successive summer, as his impressive development from the academy ranks continues.
He was already under contract until 2022 but his new deal adds another year to those terms until 2023, with the option for a further year - and a wage increase no doubt involved as well.
Godfrey told City's website: "I'm delighted to commit my future to such a great club with ambitions and goals similar to mine in terms of staying at the highest level and I'm looking forward to next season.
"There's only so long you can go without a ball at your feet before you get a little bit bored. I miss the boys, I miss training everyday and I miss the atmosphere around the training ground. I'm now looking forward to getting back to working hard."
It continues the policy of rewarding young players' little and often' that has been described by sporting director Stuart Webber, who also agreed new long-term deals with Jamal Lewis and Max Aarons during last season.
Godfrey was signed from York City in a deal reportedly worth around £1million in January 2016 and then spent a successful season on loan in League One with Shrewsbury, shining as a defensive midfielder during 2017-18.
The imposing 21-year-old was then initially on the fringes of Daniel Farke's team during the first half of last season but covered for injuries in December and eventually formed a strong partnership with Christoph Zimmermann in the centre of defence.
That pairing kept the experience of Timm Klose and Grant Hanley on the bench during the second half of the season, with Godfrey scoring four goals in 36 games as City roared to the Championship title.
Links to Premier League clubs including Liverpool, Tottenham, Manchester United, Arsenal, as well as Lyon and Red Bull Leipzig have all circulated in the national media throughout his emergence - but Webber has secured the future of another of his young talents.
The Yorkshireman, who had a spell with Middlesbrough as a youngster, has made 42 senior appearances in total for Norwich so far and earned his first England recognition in March when he was capped twice at U20 level.
Along with City team-mate Aarons he was in contention to go to the Toulon Tournament with the England U20s this summer but it's understood the Canaries expressed their desire for both to have a well-earned rest due to it not being an official Uefa tournament.
As the players prepare to return to Colney for the start of pre-season next week, Godfrey is already looking forward to kicking off the season in a televised clash against European champions Liverpool on Friday, August 9 (8pm).
He added: "I think we can all look forward to it. It will be a great atmosphere at Anfield and it's a team that I dreamt of playing against as a young boy.
"We're all looking forward to it and we'll give it 110 percent and hopefully come away with some points."
News of the deal follows new contracts for key first-team players Timm Klose, Marco Stiepermann, Tim Krul, and Kenny McLean (all until 2022) and Onel Hernandez (2023) during the off-season.