City boss is confident Godfrey will not be distracted by transfer rumours
PUBLISHED: 17:04 13 December 2019 | UPDATED: 17:04 13 December 2019
Daniel Farke is confident Ben Godfrey will not be distracted by transfer speculation – and has reminded potential suitors that Norwich City’s stable finances mean they do not need to sell.
The England Under-21 defender signed a new contract until 2023, with the option for a further year, this summer and has been a Premier League regular so far this season.
Recent media reports have claimed that Tottenham, Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund and Lyon are all watching Godfrey's progress, although it's also been claimed that it would take an offer of around £50million to persuade City to sell in January.
"He is a strong character, it is no coincidence that he has worn the captain's armband for the England Under-21s and also that he was allowed to wear our captain's armband," Farke said of the defender, who was signed from York nearly four years ago in a deal reportedly worth up to £1million. "It's not a topic we have to speak about because he is mature and grown up enough to judge it.
"It's quite normal when you are doing quite well and he, without any doubt, has done fantastically during the last year and when there is a young player with such potential, that you have to handle some rumours.
"We have to handle this through the whole season. It's quite normal that he attracts attention when he is doing well on this level but he has also signed a long-term contract and we are quite calm because our financial situation is quite relaxed.
"You can't compare it with the situation two years or even 18 months ago. So far that, he is a key player for us and we definitely need him, that's for sure."
Godfrey and Christoph Zimmermann remain Farke's front-line centre-back options ahead of a trip to in-form Leicester but Grant Hanley is back in team training and set to return soon after groin and hernia problems.
"Grant is a brilliant lad, a really strong character and it is no surprise that he is our club captain," Farke explained. "He's really important in the dressing room and for the whole team. Of course he is a proud player and unbelievably greedy to help the team as soon as possible.
"For such strong characters it's not easy to deal with disappointing setbacks. He wanted to return back to the team earlier because he always wants to help the team. It was not easy for him but he is also experienced and, of course he was disappointed, but not too down.
"Even in the time he was not able to join team training he was always there for the lads and tried to support them, cheer them up and give them some confidence.
"We are all happy that we have Grant back in team training right now."