Which clubs have been linked with the Norwich City ‘crown jewels’ so far?
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It’s started to become more of a question of who hasn’t been linked with the ‘crown jewels’ of Norwich City, as Barcelona’s interest in Max Aarons took the transfer window to fever pitch.
Transfers have almost become a sport in themselves. Some football supporters seem to get more excited at the prospect of a transfer than by their team winning a game.
Yet despite the many column inches filled by reports about Canaries players during 2020, with just over three weeks of the transfer window remaining there has been just one major exit.
Jamal Lewis being sold to Newcastle in a deal understood to be worth an initial £15million brought an end to a head-spinning spell of speculation for the City academy product. The Northern Ireland international had been linked with Tottenham, Leicester and Crystal Palace by various media outlets, as well as, rather bizarrely, Championship side Stoke City.
Following on from that report swiftly was a bid from Premier League champions Liverpool. Norwich turned down offers they considered too low from the Reds and eventually sold the 22-year-old to Newcastle instead.
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The Canaries and their players have had to learn to ignore the transfer furore, to “ignore the noise” as sporting director Stuart Webber has previously said.
That’s because, for all of the noise made publicly, the players and those close to them know the reality of their situations - and the potentially life-changing financial implications. They know that transfer tales have to be taken with a pinch of salt.
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Sometimes that’s due to contract negotiations in the background, sometimes it’s laying the groundwork for a future deal and sometimes it’s clubs using a player to help drive down the price for their number one target - as plenty of City fans suspected Liverpool were doing when they eventually signed Kostas Tsimikas from Olympiakos instead of Lewis.
It remains to be seen if Barcelona are trying to pull off the same trick with Aarons as they battle with Bayern Munich for Ajax right-back Sergino Dest, although that doesn’t mean the Spanish giants aren’t interested in the England U21 international.
So far this year Aarons has also been linked by major media outlets with interest from Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain, Spurs, Wolves and Leverkusen.
Given how much the 20-year-old has already achieved in his career, bigger clubs should be aware of his potential after relegation from the Premier League, but with a contract until 2024 and City in a relatively stable financial situation there has been little need to worry about interest from elsewhere.
It’s been difficult to keep track of the clubs linked with Ben Godfrey. From Borussia Dortmund, Leverkusen and RB Leipzig in Germany, to AC Milan and Napoli in Italy, and Tottenham, Manchester United, Arsenal, Newcastle and Leeds in England. Yet so far there been no suggestion of any bids.
Similarly for Todd Cantwell. After six goals in the top flight last season the midfielder has reportedly interested Bayern Munich, Liverpool, Manchester City, Leicester, Manchester United, Spurs and Newcastle.
Or how about the talent of Emi Buendia? It’s just Atletico Madrid, Valencia, Palace and Leeds for the Argentine so far but, again, no suggestion that any of those have actually made an approach.
The links in well-known national media outlets have become so regular that it’s almost like water off a duck’s back for City’s players.
If any of those overseas clubs do want to make their move, they have until 11pm on Monday, October 5 to get the deal done, but the domestic window doesn’t close until the end of the international break so Premier League clubs have until 5pm on Friday, October 16. Other players have been mentioned too though.
Player of the Season winner Tim Krul was linked with Schalke in March, who had former Norwich loanee Ralf Fahrmann in goal as they lost 8-0 to Bayern Munich on Friday.
Bundesliga new boys Arminia Bielefeld were said to be interested in Mario Vrancic in an interview with the midfielder in a newspaper in his home country of Bosnia & Herzegovina.
There has been little mention of interest in Mo Leitner, Tom Trybull and Josip Drmic however, three players not given squad numbers as City look to move them on as part of their refresh after relegation.
Trybull was linked with Turkish side Besiktas but as things stand the trio have just over 10 days to find a new club if they are to leave the country, or just over three weeks if they are to join a club in England or Wales.