Norwich City transfer rumours: Everton make £26million bid for Godfrey

Ben Godfrey in action during Norwich City's 1-0 Championship loss at Bournemouth on Saturday

Ben Godfrey in action during Norwich City's 1-0 Championship loss at Bournemouth on Saturday Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Everton are interested in signing defender Ben Godfrey from Norwich City - and after initial reports of a loan offer, the Daily Telegraph are now claiming that the Toffees have proposed a deal worth £26million.

Today’s initial report came from Sky Sports, claiming that Everton had made an enquiry for the England Under-21 international - joining the long list of clubs linked with interest in the centre-back.

The report stated that despite the Canaries valuing the 22-year-old at around £25million, the Toffees would only be interested in a loan, with an option to make the deal permanent at a later date.

All of which was strikingly similar to Barcelona’s interest in Max Aarons recently, with City making clear to the Spanish giants that a loan would only be contemplated with an obligation to buy, rather than an option.

However, the Telegraph moved the story on this afternoon by claiming that an initial £20m has been offered, plus a potential further £6m in add-on fees - due to Chelsea snubbing Everton’s loan interest in Fikayo Tomori.

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Godfrey has made 78 appearances for Norwich since signing from York in January 2016 in a deal reportedly worth £1m, with a sell-on fee of 10 percent of any profit made.

Thirty of those came in the Premier League last season but the youngster, who enjoyed a successful 2017-18 loan season as a midfielder in League One with Shrewsbury, was unable to prevent relegation from the top flight.

He was linked with Fulham in recent days but it’s understood Godfrey wasn’t interested in joining the Cottagers, who were promoted via the play-off final and had just a week weeks to prepare for the Premier League.

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Many other clubs have been linked with a player under contract until 2023, with the option for a further year, including Arsenal, Tottenham, Borussia Dortmund, AC Milan, Newcastle and Leeds.

VERDICT: While the initial suggestions of a loan deal didn’t seem to fit with what the Canaries would demand, a deal worth £20m up front would seem a fair value in the current market.

The Merseyside club have shown they are able to spend this summer, splashing a reported £22m to sign midfielder James Rodriguez from Real Madrid and £20m on midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure - fresh from Premier League relegation with Watford.

They have also made a strong start to the campaign, winning all three matches, with international duo Yerry Mina and Michael Keane at the heart of their defence.

Godfrey captained the England U21s last season and has shown top-level potential as a ball-playing centre-half, which would seem to fit with the style of former Real Madrid and AC Milan boss Ancelotti.

Norwich are already well stocked at centre-back as well after the loan signing of Ben Gibson from Burnley, with the view to a permanent deal if promotion can be secured.

Christoph Zimmermann, Grant Hanley and Timm Klose are all fit and available for action as well, while Alex Tettey proved he could provide emergency cover in the top flight season - if another freak defensive injury crisis should emerge.

U23s centre-backs Akin Famewo and Rocky Bushiri have been loaned out again so the chief academy option would appear to be Irish 18-year-old Andrew Omobamidele, who was on the bench during the League Cup first round loss at Luton.

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