FARKE ¦ Full reaction of City boss to Ben Godfrey’s club record Everton deal
- Credit: PA
Daniel Farke confirmed Ben Godfrey is in the ‘advanced stages’ of completing a club record £25m move to Everton when he previewed Derby’s Championship visit on Friday lunchtime at Colney.
Godfrey missed training on Friday morning to undergo a medical and finalise personal terms after the two clubs thrashed out a £25m deal, plus add ons, on Thursday evening. This is the full transcript of what Farke makes of Godfrey’s pending exit.
“I can’t confirm a deal is done yet. What I can confirm is that Ben has trained the whole week with us and was in our plans for Derby. He trained on Thursday but then during the evening there was some progress on the work in the background and what I can confirm is Ben did not train today.
“He is in advanced, or more than advanced talks, with his agent and a club. If I have to judge it right now it is pretty likely the deal is done in the next hours or days. If not, I would be happy because I have the best centre back in the division. If not, then I cannot confirm sums but it will be a club record transfer fee for Norwich City.
“He won’t be with us for the Derby game. I can confirm that. Whoever signs Ben Godfrey can be unbelievably happy. It is no coincidence he is captain of the England Under-21s. This club has had some decent players in the past so to be rated the biggest transfer fee for a figure that is on the world level says everything about his potential.
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“He had a lot of competition on the centre back positions but for me he played the most minutes of any centre back here. It says a lot about his development. I don’t need to speak about his strengths or where he can improve. I am pretty sure he will play for best clubs in the world one day and he has the potential to captain England. That is what I wish for him.
“He is one of the best centre backs in the world in terms of potential. I was happy to be able to work with him. I would like to work further on with him.
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“It is always a compliment when the biggest clubs in this country look at our players. We should feel proud and it shows we have definitely done something right. La Masia (Barcelona’s academy) can close the doors because everyone looks at Norwich. We have developed some of the biggest talents in this country.
“It started with the Murphys, James Maddison and so on. Sadly we have already lost Jamal Lewis, the best left back in this league. Pretty likely we now lose the best centre back and we still have some real talent with potential.
“It doesn’t help me in the short term. It is never easy to win games. That is why I would never want to sell. I don’t want to earn the biggest money in this country. I am highly motivated to win football games and you stand a better chance with all your top players. But it is a sign of quality work. I am not naive.
“The only self-funding club must listen to crazy offers and then make a decision. On the short, mid and long term this club is on a good page. It is a proud day to be a Norwich supporter. I know they will also be sad. But as a head coach I have more than one tear in my eye. It doesn’t make my life easier.
“For all parties this is a good move. We need to see the bigger picture. I am not just selfish. We are financially solid for the next years and the reputation of our club is where the best talents in this country can be developed.
“We achieved an outstanding title win and then the Premier League with this group. We found it difficult last season but we want to come back in a much stronger way and then be able to invest in the squad.”