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City accept club record £25m Everton bid for Ben Godfrey

Norwich City have accepted an improved bid from Everton for Ben Godfrey Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich City have accepted an improved bid from Everton for Ben Godfrey Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Paul Chesterton

Norwich City have agreed a club record £25m deal, plus add ons, for Ben Godfrey from Everton on Thursday night.

The Toffees’ initial approach was turned down by the Canaries but the Merseysiders have returned with an improved offer that eclipses City’s previous club record deal for James Maddison.

The 22-year-old is now expected to undergo a medical within the next 24 hours ahead of completing his move to the early Premier League pacesetters.

Godfrey’s previous club, York, will be entitled to a percentage of the deal as part of the original transfer that brought the England Under-21 international to Norfolk in 2016.

City feel they already have enough central defensive options should Godfrey seal his big money move after bringing in Ben Gibson from Burnley on a season long loan earlier this window, when speculation was rife over Godfrey’s future. Grant Hanley is also back in full training after hamstring surgery ended his Premier League campaign, while Swiss international Timm Klose is yet to make a matchday squad this season.

A proposed £20m offer from Carlo Ancelotti’s club, with a further £5m in add ons, was dismissed by City but reports in the north-west indicated Godfrey was Ancelotti’s prime target after failing in a loan move for Chelsea’s Fikayo Tomori.

The Italian confirmed he was a big admirer of the powerhouse defender after Wednesday’s 4-1 League Cup win over West Ham.

He said: ‘We are looking for a centre back. Godfrey is a really good centre back but is playing for Norwich and I cannot say anything.’

Daniel Farke will give his reaction when he speaks to the media on Friday lunchtime ahead of Derby County’s league visit.

Godfrey has made 78 appearances for the club and became a key figure alongside Christoph Zimmermann in the Canaries’ Championship title-winning campaign of 2019. The centre back is poised to become the second high profile departure from Carrow Road this summer following Jamal Lewis’ exit to Newcastle United.

City were similarly firm when Liverpool made a cheeky approach for Lewis, before the Northern Irish international joined the Magpies.

Barcelona’s enquiry for Max Aarons got no further, with the Catalans only interested in a loan with an option to purchase arrangement. Barca confirmed the signing of Ajax’s Sergino Dest earlier on Thursday.

The start of the season has been dominated by transfer speculation around Norwich’s best players. Farke left Todd Cantwell and Emi Buendia out at Bournemouth last weekend, and that speculation is likely to continue with the overseas transfer window closing on October 5 but Premier League clubs still able to buy players in this country until October 16.


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