‘We see him as part of our future’ – Webber keen for Cantwell to sign new City contract
Signing academy product Todd Cantwell to a long-term contract is the plan for Norwich City – but a deal is yet to be agreed.
The 21-year-old midfielder, from Dereham, has been with the Canaries since he was nine years old and played a regular part as Daniel Farke's team won the Championship title.
Two assists and a goal from 24 league games kick-started Cantwell's senior career but unlike fellow young stars Max Aarons, Jamal Lewis and Ben Godfrey, a new contract is yet to be signed, despite negotiations beginning last summer.
"I've had positive talks with Todd himself about his future because we see him as part of our future and we see him as one of ours, and we want to look after him," sporting director Stuart Webber explained, having activated the one-year option in Cantwell's contract last month.
"At the same time it has to be right for him, and we respect that, but it also has to be right for us. We're not a club who keeps people here against their will, we're not a club who changes what we do just to suit certain individuals because then it doesn't work.
"Then suddenly I have a knock on the door of 15 other lads saying 'you've done that for him but you said you wouldn't do that for me' and we can't do that.
"What's more important is the group, the club and if there's someone who doesn't want to fit into that, it's fine, they can leave and that's just the harsh reality and we have to stay strong to that."
Norwich City report card: Todd Cantwell, critics, contracts and class
Webber is confident a deal will be struck with the former England Under-17 international and his representatives though, with talks ongoing.
"Do I think we'll get there with Todd? Yeah, I do," he continued. "I truly believe that, because there's been a willingness from both sides but it's taken a long time and unfortunately we had no choice but to take the option up.
"We didn't want to be taking the option up, we wanted to be saying here's a new deal and that's great but it came with a time frame where contractually we had to do it. So I had to speak to Todd and say 'we've got to do this now unfortunately', which is going to raise questions.
"But we've done it and the main thing now is that hopefully we get his contract sorted and he's settled here, because he's done brilliantly for us.
"Daniel and the club, have been brilliant for him, and Neil (Adams) in terms of him going out on loan to Fortuna Sittard last year.
"So it's something where it should work because everyone's done well for everyone, so it's one where it's confusing us a little bit when it doesn't work like that."