Premier League vultures do not concern Daniel Farke

James Maddison has grabbed his chance this season in the absence of Alex Pritchard. Picture: Paul Ch

James Maddison has grabbed his chance this season in the absence of Alex Pritchard. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Daniel Farke is relaxed at the thought of Premier League vultures circling around his dynamic duo James Maddison and Alex Pritchard.

Farke was on the top table at the club’s AGM earlier this week, where City’s board underlined he is under no financial pressure to offload any prized assets.

But the head coach knows that will not stop transfer speculation or potential top-flight interest in his talented midfield duo during the New Year window.

“No, I am not concerned. I am just realistic. I have been in this business a long time,” he said. “We have made it clear there is no pressure on us to sell in January and I don’t fear at all that one player has a wish to leave us.

“Players like Alex Pritchard have been away all season injured or James is having his first season in the starting line-up.

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“They know they have brilliant ability but this is a good place for them to develop further. They really appreciate being here.

“Football is a business and it can happen there is an unbelievable offer and the player and his club have to think about it.

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“I am not concerned we have to sell players. There are bigger clubs at present and if the player grows quicker than the club then it is normal there might be some wishes from the player. But that is not the case.”

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Farke is excited by the prospect of pairing the attacking midfielders, with Pritchard back from ankle surgery and Maddison blossoming in his absence.

“I am looking forward to the moment when they are both in a good shape and can be in the same midfield,” he said.

“I would prefer sometimes to give James a break because it is the first time he has all these appearances.

“For a young player it would be good to give him a rest – not the last game or two but before that I had the feeling although it was a solid performance from him each game he looked a bit tired.

“He is so important to us. Can they play in the same side? Good players can always play together. When I think about Preston we had Nelson (Oliveira), Wes (Hoolahan) and Josh (Murphy) and behind them Mario (Vrancic), James and Harrison Reed.

“All three of those midfielders are normally number 10s, perhaps Harry a little more defensive, so it won’t be a problem to have Alex and James on the pitch. If anything it is the other way around.”

• For the latest Norwich City news and opinion follow Group Football Editor Paddy Davitt on the following channels…

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