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Norwich City ready to ward off Premier League vultures for young talent

PUBLISHED: 07:32 11 May 2017 | UPDATED: 07:32 11 May 2017

Alex Pritchard was a stand out in Norwich City's Championship run in. 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Alex Pritchard was a stand out in Norwich City's Championship run in. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

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Norwich City will play hardball with any potential Premier League vultures circling around the Canaries' best talent this summer.

Alex Pritchard - top dog at Carrow Road. 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images LtdAlex Pritchard - top dog at Carrow Road. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

New sporting director Stuart Webber knows the likes of Alex Pritchard and the Murphys are sure to attract interest, but the club’s football figurehead insists City hold the cards.

“If in the event someone did come for our highly-talented ones it is going to cost a hell of a lot of money,” he said. “At that point we have to be realistic. If a top 10 Premier League club come for one of our players and offer us £20m no-one is stupid enough to say we can turn that down.

“I can guarantee the player in question would be in to see me straight away and say they could earn four times their current salary in the Premier League. We would have to respect that. The good thing is, and the club has done some good work in this area, they are tied up and I would be more worried if those guys were entering the final year.

“The benefit is with a Pritchard or the Murphys they are under long contracts so we are in a strong position. Every player is available at every club in the world. Look at Paul Pogba last summer. I doubt Juventus wanted to sell him but then £89m or whatever it was turns up and off you go. That is football. We all understand that.”

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Webber has made it clear City must be ‘creative’ in the market to refresh the squad to compete for Championship promotion.

“It is a big job because there is a lot of pressure and a lot expectation but we have a fantastic group of players and we are really fortunate to have some of these guys,” he said.

“A club like ours should have that expectation and approach next season feeling we want to be getting promoted. If not we might as well all stay in bed. It is a big job with loads of good things in place.

“You look at the potential in the support base. The home form has been brilliant anyway but if we can get Carrow Road rocking then we are not a million miles away. Now we have to look forward positively rather than too much about what has gone before.

“This is a self-financing club. That is great because you know what you are playing with but the flip side at this time of the year when you want to do a bit of work is you can’t rely on someone just writing out a cheque. You need to be creative. In terms of financially and the scale involved, that is a new experience for me and I am very fortunate that I have Steve (Stone), who nails that bit and gets it really well. Ben Dack is our director of finance and there is real good support if we want to walk through potential decisions and that may have a knock on effect. There is a really good staff structure and working practices in place.”

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