Norwich City boss Chris Hughton issues a hands off warning over his stars
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Chris Hughton has warned potential suitors to forget about prising Norwich City's jewels away in the January transfer window.
Dutch international Leroy Fer has already been touted with moves to a host of clubs ahead of the annual sales, but Hughton insists Sebastien Bassong's contract extension this week sends a clear message.
'We are looking to build and make progress – not to disrupt,' he said. 'We will make decisions in January where we want to strengthen the squad. If that is not the case, then we are happy to go with what we have got but what we certainly don't want to do is lose players and we won't be losing players.
'I think it is normal to see those things this time of the year. We already know that 90pc or 95pc of what you hear will be untrue and pure speculation. Any of my players who are the subject of speculation tells me one thing and that is they must be doing something right. That is not a good thing in the sense you would rather they stay off the radar, but it does prove they are performing well.'
Hughton confirmed on Friday City have funds available as they weigh up whether to bring in fresh faces following a record summer transfer outlay.
'Perhaps one area that we knew just before the last window we wanted to do something was in wide midfield positions,' he said. 'We have had Nathan (Redmond) and Josh and Jacob (Murphy) pushing for places with the other lads out injured but we will only do business if we can improve our squad. The club have been very ambitious in everything they have done and there will be a facility to bring in players if we want to do it but it is not a question of whether the finances are in place but whether we think it is right.
'We probably spent the biggest amount this club has ever spent (in the summer) but we are conscious in this climate and this division other clubs are spending that and more. If you want to be challenging, if you want to be in the best position to win football matches you have to keep investing.'
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Hughton is confident Bassong will not be the last Norwich City player to earn a contract extension at Carrow Road. Bassong joined the likes of John Ruddy, Russell Martin and Elliott Bennett in pledging their futures to the Canaries beyond existing City deals and Hughton believes that should be an incentive to the rest of his senior squad.
'It is about protecting our assets and showing ambition and also it is very much a reward for those who have done well and seized that opportunity,' said Hughton. 'It works both ways. In the case of Seb and John they have served the club well and they thoroughly deserve it. Seb has had a difficult start to the season but he is a quality player and we want to tie those type of players down to longer deals. He missed all of pre-season after having an operation but I feel he is coming into his stride now. The fact he is prepared to put pen to paper shows what the club means to him and our ambition and of course it is beneficial to us as a club. We look at players who are coming out of contract maybe the season after next and if they are offered a new deal then it is because they have done well here.'