Daniel Farke has revealed he tried to lure Daniel James to Norwich in the summer – only to be blown out of the water by Manchester United .
The Canaries boss admitted defeat once he realised Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s United were also in for the flying Welshman.
Now Farke is plotting ways to stop the winger, who cost £15million from Swansea in June, when United visit Carrow Road on Sunday.
Farke said: “He is a player I always liked and I tried to see if there was chance we could work together.
“Sadly when Man United calls there is no chance for Norwich to get a player.
“I’m not surprised he had become a key player for them so early. All respect to him because he is already crucial.”
Farke insisted United were big favourites to triumph on Sunday despite having failed to win a Premier League away game since February.
But with his Norwich side having beaten champions Manchester City home last month, the German is confident of another upset.
He said: “It’s not a 50-50 game – I would say it’s only one game in 10 that we would be able to gain points.
“But it was the same against Manchester City and we were able to create a magic night.”
Top scorer Teemu Pukki hasn’t scored for his club since that shock 3-2 win over the champions.
But Farke reckoned the six-goal striker is due to find the net.
He said: “He was scoring goals for fun at the beginning. Hopefully he can deliver another special performance.”
Norwich will also remember former club captain Duncan Forbes, who died aged 78 on Wednesday.
Farke added: “I never had the chance to meet him but I’m told that when he was shouting on the pitch you could hear it in Cromer.”