EXCLUSIVE By Pete O’Rourke

Arsenal are stepping up their interest in highly-rated Norwich defender Ben Godfrey, Football Insider understands.

The Gunners were among a host of clubs to have scouts watch the talented 21-year-old in action in last weekend’s East Anglia derby win over Ipswich Town.

Godfrey, who played in central defence against Ipswich, helped his side to a clean sheet and to three points to send them to the top of the Championship table with another impressive display.

A club source has told Football Insider that Arsenal scouts have been making regular trips to Carrow Road this season and versatile performer Godfrey is understood to be their target of interest.

Godfrey, who can play in defensive midfield as well as central defence and left-back, has started the last 11 games for Norwich and he is currently keeping club captain Grant Hanley out of the side.

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Arsenal boss Unai Emery is keen to bolster his squad for next season and Godfrey’s versatility makes him an attractive proposition to the Spaniard.

Central defence and left-back have been problematic positions for Arsenal again this season and Godfrey could strengthen both of those roles.

Emery is expected to working under a restricted transfer budget this summer and Godfrey would fit the bill for the type of signing that Arsenal are looking for in that he is a potential star in the making and would not be out of their price range.

Arsenal are set to continue to monitor Godfrey for the remainder of the season as they draw up their wanted list of targets for next season.

Norwich are keen to keep hold of Godfrey, but the Canaries are bracing themselves for offers for Godfrey and their other top young talents this summer even if they do end up winning promotion to the Premier League this season.