Norwich City transfer rumours: German clubs eye £25m swoop for Godfrey but Newcastle also keen
So it begins. Within hours of Norwich City’s damaging defeat to Brighton there was a transfer rumour featuring in a national newspaper, with the Canaries on the verge of returning to the Championship.
Ben Godfrey was the City playing featuring on The Sun’s website on Saturday evening, with the young defender already linked with a host of clubs in the past 18 months.
Bundesliga big boys Borussia Dortmund and Red Bull Leipzig have been among those clubs and the report claims they are now both keen on a summer swoop, with the report suggesting a deal in the region of £25million.
Godfrey captained the England Under-21s earlier this season and has also worn the armband for Norwich at times during an injury-hit season for the club’s other defenders, which has often put a great deal of pressure on the 22-year-old’s shoulders.
After a successful year on loan in League One with Shrewsbury, the York City youth product emerged halfway through 2018-19 and formed a strong partnership with Christoph Zimmermann as Daniel Farke’s team surged towards the Championship title.
He has been a regular at the heart of City’s defence this season, making 25 top flight appearances but missing seven games after a knee ligament tear picked up in December.
The report suggests City will cash in if relegation is confirmed, as is highly likely with five games remaining, and also suggest Tottenham, Liverpool, Arsenal and French club Lyon as others who have monitored his progress.
Godfrey signed a contract until 2023, with the option for a further year, following promotion. The report also suggests that Farke’s connections at Dortmund could help the defender to join the growing amount of English talent in Germany.
England star Jadon Sancho has been a huge success at Dortmund and this year’s Bundesliga runners-up are reportedly poised to sign Birmingham City’s 17-year-old talent Jude Bellingham in a deal worth around £20m.
Meanwhile, at the same time, the Daily Mail suggest that Godfrey is one of the players Newcastle United have on their summer wish list with their survival under Steve Bruce already secured and takeover talks with wealthy investors from Saudi Arabia continuing.
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VERDICT: Godfrey being linked with a move away will come as little surprise to City fans as he clearly has active agents. The timing will be disappointing though, with Saturday’s defeat to Brighton still raw.
That 1-0 loss did however highlight that Godfrey is still learning his game, as Leandro Trossard got across him easily to turn home the decisive goal, although he had been left exposed by Timm Klose’s wayward pass.
It will be a sign of things to come though, with many of the Canaries’ young talents regularly linked with big moves in the past 18 months and with financial holes needing to be filled, not just if relegation is confirmed but due to the season resuming behind closed doors.
City’s senior staff had initially been bracing for a loss of expected income in the region of £18m to £35m due to the season being suspended for three months but it’s understood the loss should be at the lower end of that scale with the campaign resuming without spectators but with every match being shown live by broadcasters.
Despite that though the club’s finances are seen as largely stable and there will not be a drastic need to sell, although fans will be well aware that players also have personal ambitions and that extra income will be very welcome if next season is focused on bouncing back to the Premier League at the first attempt.
So if Godfrey is interested in moving on and good offers arrive, he would appear to be one of the front runners to leave this summer, having cut his defensive teeth at the top level with City.