Norwich City sporting director Stuart Webber has told in-demand players, such as Max Aarons, Emi Buendia, Todd Cantwell, and Teemu Pukki, that if the right offer comes in they will be allowed to leave the club, Grant Holt has revealed in an exclusive interview with Football League World.
The Canaries have already secured promotion back to the Premier League and will win the Championship title if they beat Reading on Saturday, whatever Watford’s result.
While adding quality to Daniel Farke’s squad ahead of the return to the top flight will likely be one of the club’s top priorities, keeping hold of their star players could be even more important.
Buendia has looked a cut above in the Championship this term, scoring 14 goals and adding 17 assists, and is reportedly of interest to the likes of Arsenal, Aston Villa, and Liverpool, while the impressive Cantwell has drawn links to both Villa and Leeds United.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Football League World, Holt – who made more than 100 appearances for Norwich and is now part of their recruitment team – discussed the future of some of the club’s in-demand players and suggested that Aarons, Buendia, Cantwell, and Pukki represent “nearly £95 million of talent”.
He added: “I think the way we work, we’d be stupid as a recruitment department for thinking that one of them might not leave. We’d be stupid to think that. The same as we thought Ben Godfrey might leave last year.
“Stuart (Webber) has always come out and said exactly the same thing. If the price is right for the football club, they’ll leave. If it isn’t, we don’t need to sell. That’s the same argument.
“He tells the players that. He has conversations with these players, he tells them ‘this is the deal, this is how it needs to go down, if that deal comes in then we’ll shake hands and thank you for everything you’ve done and it’s over to you now’.
“But if the money’s not right, why do we need to? They’re all happy at the football club anyway because they always speak highly of the manager and of the football club. I think we’ve seen that with Emi (Buendia) over the last few months.
“Of course, they all want to get into the top six, that top tier in the league, whatever that may be. But it needs to be right for all parties and we’re a football club that knows where we are. If money comes in for them and it’s right, I’ve got no doubt Stuart will shake his hand go thank you very much, it’s too much to turn down.”
Reports over the weekend indicated that the valuations of Aarons (£30 million), Buendia (£40 million), and Cantwell (£30 million) would make up more than the £95 million touted by Holt.
It looks as though it could be a busy summer at Carrow Road.
Grant Holt is supporting the nationwide “Your Club Your Kit” competition on behalf of Your Move, Official Communities Supporter of the EFL. To help your local grassroots team and enter the kit competition visit: www.your-move.co.uk/kit