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‘Dani Alves’ Aarons unfazed by Barca bid

Max Aarons was in the sights of some of Europe's biggest clubs but is still a Norwich City player Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Max Aarons was in the sights of some of Europe's biggest clubs but is still a Norwich City player Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

©Focus Images Limited https://www.focus-images.co.uk +44 7813 022858

Max Aarons has not had his head turned by Barcelona, insists Norwich City head coach Daniel Farke.

The City chief joked on Friday lunchtime the 20-year-old’s team mates had labelled him ‘Dani Alves’ at training this week following transfer interest from the Catalan giants.

Farke is confident Aarons is in the right frame of mind to line up on Sunday at Bournemouth in the Championship.

“When it is a difficult topic it is good to take the seriousness out of it and the lads have been joking with him, and Max has taken it all in good spirit,” said Farke, who confirmed there had been no further approach from Barca this week. “Several times we have been calling him Dani Alves or Barca and he has handled this with a smile.

“We are used to it. But it is a tricky period I will be really honest. You can’t simply choose a line up on the potential of a player, you also have to keep in mind sometimes they are not 100pc focused because of all the rumours.

Efan Ekoku has moved into television punditry. Picture: ArchantEfan Ekoku has moved into television punditry. Picture: Archant

“Max handled it perfectly last Saturday and I hope he can do the same for the next two games.

“I won’t accuse anyone if they are not totally switched on because we are working with human beings.

“Sometimes your thoughts are elsewhere. You can be influenced by people around you, family, friends, agents, whoever. We might have some tricky decisions with the core group in the next couple of games because the most important thing is the team is not affected by it. I expect the next two games will be bumpy.”

Farke has had to spend the close season deflecting questions around the futures of his best talent. That applies to Aarons.

“It is never easy but Max has the personality to handle it. This lad has had to live with this since months,” said Farke. “Whether it is Dortmund or Munich, or PSG, or the big clubs in England and right now it is Barcelona. Perhaps the reputation of Barca is even bigger but these are all big clubs. Bayern won the Champions League and this week the Super Cup.

“You have to stay grounded, keep feet on the ground and remember Max’s task is to wear the yellow shirt and deliver performances.

“There are no developments. I was pleased with him on the training pitch this week. He was our player before Preston, he is our player before Bournemouth, he will be our player after Bournemouth.”


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