Norwich City aim to keep Wes Hoolahan out of Aston Villa’s grasp

Norwich City midfielder Wes Hoolahan has handed in a transfer request. Photo: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd Norwich City midfielder Wes Hoolahan has handed in a transfer request. Photo: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Thursday, January 16, 2014
10:08 AM

Norwich City’s midfield schemer Wes Hoolahan will not be joining former team-mate Grant Holt at Aston Villa.

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The Canaries’ hierarchy expect Hoolahan to remain at the club in the January transfer window after Villa’s initial enquiry last week was flatly rejected. Villa offered £750,000 up front or the option of two instalments rising to a potential £1m for the Canaries’ longest-serving player, who was a key figure in the club’s double promotion-winning campaigns under former City boss and now Villans’ chief Paul Lambert.

The Scot has made no secret of his admiration for Hoolahan and his desire to bring in an attacking midfielder during the current transfer window, but there have been no further offers from Villa Park.

Hoolahan was an unused substitute in the midweek FA Cup defeat at Fulham but Chris Hughton reiterated again after his side’s Craven Cottage exit the Dubliner is part of a squad he wants to expand following this week’s loan move for Newcastle’s Jonas Gutierrez.

“At the moment our concentration is on can we add to the squad, can we improve the squad, not on letting players go out,” he said. “We’ve had a few injuries, especially in midfield, and then Michael Turner will be out for a while as well. We are trying as hard as we can (to sign players) the same as everybody else, but January is a notoriously bad time to bring in players because they also have to be right for the club.”

Lambert launched a surprise move for Hoolahan’s former team-mate Holt this week with the three-time Norwich City player-of-the-year moving to the Midlands from Wigan on loan for the rest of the season.

Holt has endured a frustrating spell at the Latics following his departure from Carrow Road but was keen to link up again with the Scot.

The well-travelled striker was a prolific goalscorer under his former boss although Lambert had been prepared to sell Holt following Norwich’s first successful season back in the Premier League.

Holt scored 17 goals in his debut top flight campaign, including a strike in the final day 2-0 home win over Aston Villa which was to prove Lambert’s swansong.

The 32-year-old slapped in a transfer request the following week before the club offered the frontman an improved deal after Lambert’s departure, but Lambert had indicated to the club’s top brass he wanted to offload Holt in the spring of that season and the relative delay in opening contract talks over a new Carrow Road deal was a factor in Holt’s shock transfer request.

The Cumbrian could now line up against his former side when Norwich travel to Villa Park on March 1 after an unexpected chance to resume his top flight career.

“To be able to come back into the Premier League, especially at a club as big as Villa, is fantastic and it’s an opportunity for me to work with the gaffer and his staff again as well,” Holt told Villa’s official site. “He’s able to get the best out of people, there’s no doubt about that.

“I know what he wants to achieve here in the long-term and I know what he expects. I know what he expects on the training ground and I’m looking forward to working with him over the coming months to try to help things along and to consolidate the club’s position.”

Norwich expect to find out the result of a Premier League tribunal into former keeper Jed Steer’s move to Villa later this week. The Canaries are entitled to compensation after he opted to link up with Lambert last summer having rejecting a new City deal.

20 comments

  • The irony is that the revenue from loyal season ticket holders will have more significance to the club if\when we get relegated, thereby losing the silly money. As it is, Sky Money outweighs the loss of a few ticket holders. If we stay up it still will. The price season ticketeers will have to pay for staying up is being insignificant. Yes, M_Y, Holt & Hooper could`ve been good. Or even Holt & Vaughan, the latter`s fitness permitting (saving a few £million, too). On Holty, was Lambo himself not planning to offload him? Cunning Devil - he`s got him back now! Malaga flier; character, charisma and leadership. Spot on!

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, January 16, 2014

  • Ok, then play him Hughton. Can anyone wonder he is frustrated and probably wants away if he is bench-warming? Will be interesting to see how Holty gets on at Villa. No doubt he has been brought in mainly to add character, charisma and leadership. Another commodity now in short supply here at Norwich!

    Report this comment

    malaga flier

    Thursday, January 16, 2014

  • The odds of Holt scoring more than RVW is extremely high purely because when or if holt gets a game it will be in a side that creates plenty of clear cut chances and on the flip side RVW is still stuck in a side that creates virtually no chances. An when they do its not the sort of clear cut predator chance Hooper and Holt require.

    Report this comment

    Mattias333

    Thursday, January 16, 2014

  • I'm beginning to think that LYB is the only one who talks sense on here.

    Report this comment

    Mellow_Yellow

    Thursday, January 16, 2014

  • That`s why I rely on Gedro & Steady On, M_Y! They are my reason for living.... I feel an Engelbert Humperdinck song coming on... Be interesting to see how Holty responds to being returned to the Prem under Lambo. I wouldn`t discount Holty being "in the know" about Lambo`s cunning plot......

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, January 16, 2014

  • Villa or championship I wonder?

    Report this comment

    Townman

    Thursday, January 16, 2014

  • haha the curse of typing quickly at work with a boss & head office lurking! RVW obviously lol!

    Report this comment

    Mattias333

    Thursday, January 16, 2014

  • The odds of Holt scoring more than RVW is extremely high purely because when or if holt gets a game it will be in a side that creates plenty of clear cut chances and on the flip side RVW is still stuck in a side that creates virtually no chances. An when they do its not the sort of clear cut predator chance Hooper and Holt require.

    Report this comment

    Mattias333

    Thursday, January 16, 2014

  • Spot on, Surrey Canary. If Wes was the Joey Barton type and played for a media manipulating manager like Barra `Arry, he`d have greater notoriety and a bigger price-tag. As it is, Wes is a consummate professional and a credit to his craft. Has to be worth at least £3m? Anyway, he`s ours!

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Friday, January 17, 2014

  • Indeed MB it would appear Lambchops was going to jetison the big man. I bet Holt himself wasn't aware of that before signing for Villa. Funny how we all go back to those we know and love when times look bleak...

    Report this comment

    Mellow_Yellow

    Thursday, January 16, 2014

  • Whats the odds on Holt scoring more than RVW this season in the prem. Just a thought.

    Report this comment

    Admiral F

    Thursday, January 16, 2014

  • The bid is a joke given his experience and capability - I wonder what the fee would be if a top Euro team was selling him??

    Report this comment

    Surrey Canary

    Thursday, January 16, 2014

  • superfan59, it's because basically you support the club, want it to succeed and want performances to get better, which I think every fan is in agreement on. Given that McNally and the board, who have had the opportunity to see how Chris Hughton operates with a lot more insight than us, knows his relationship with the players, unlike us, have decided to stick with him, perhaps it's time to accept that, stop absolving the players of all responsibility in a vendetta against CH and start using said season ticket to raise the atmosphere at Carrow Road in the hope that the players draw some much-needed confidence from it. It's better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.

    Report this comment

    LittleYellowBirdie

    Thursday, January 16, 2014

  • Would have thoght Hoolahan would have felt insulted by the derisory offer from Lambert and would tell him to take a jump at himself.

    Report this comment

    goldie

    Thursday, January 16, 2014

  • Do agree buddy. Im in the same situation as you. We will be there come rain or shine what ever league were in. More fool us I suppose. Just frustrating as the club is really set and capable of achieving so much more from a club and squad point of view.

    Report this comment

    Mattias333

    Thursday, January 16, 2014

  • Through gritted teeth and in a barely audible whisper he said "We need Hoolahan here, we need Fox, Becchio, Pilkington here. Surman and Ayala are only out on loan, they are still our players. Surely to goodness if they are that good play them if not stop the constant waffle, sell them and get some money back! (If you can)

    Report this comment

    blackdog2

    Thursday, January 16, 2014

  • Mattias333--ref; Hughton---don't you think we have all been our worst enemy ---we've all gone and bought our season tickets (in my case home & away)& that's it--we have no further say in the matter.

    Report this comment

    superfan59

    Thursday, January 16, 2014

  • Why oh why oh Why cant Chris Hughton just come out and say something passionate like "WES IS GOING NOWHERE I WANT HIM HERE".......instead its always this kind of thing “At the moment our concentration is on can we add to the squad, can we improve the squad, not on letting players go out,”. That means only one thing to me that he isnt truly wanted here. Players are constantly speaking out against Hughton which they'd never do to any other manager they truly respected. After Hughton failed to state clearly if he did or didnt want Hoolahan it was left to players like Ruddy to come out and say "Wes cant be allowed to go anywhere". Similar story with Fox. Whether you like him or cant see his worth he was MOTM against Fulham the other week and everyone was rightly praising him.....could Hughton praise him......in the most minimal way yes but very much through gritted teeth as anyone who listened to the post match interview could tell. Then once again it was left to the players who through there interviews and social media outlets lashed on the praise for how good it was to have the outcast back. Add in the outbursts from Becchio regarding being ignored and Pilks rant at Vaughan being sold and there is a huge amount of discontent. It will NOT get better. I apologise but surely even the biggest optimist cant see that? Are we going to suddenly transform and start winning games or at least LOOK like winning games. If that was to even happen it takes time and thats something we dont have as even if that was possible we will be relegated by the time he figured a way of achieving that. We need points and now in these "winnable" games as the optimists called it.

    Report this comment

    Mattias333

    Thursday, January 16, 2014

  • Mattias...Hooper and Holt??? Now theres a partnership I'd like to have seen at CR!!

    Report this comment

    Mellow_Yellow

    Thursday, January 16, 2014

  • SF59, you are spot on but I for one am thinking long and hard about next sesaon and will not sign up unless Hughton is gone. I and my son so nearly gave up our season tickets last year because of the dross being dealt up by this dour manager but just when the time to sign on the dotted line came along we appeared to pick up. That lasted all of to games from memory then it was back to dire football. If I was Wes, I would be demanding to be let go as given his age he surely wants and deserves to be playing on a regular basis. I am not convinced that Lambert will give him regular games though as I recall that Howson was in effect brought in to replace him initially.

    Report this comment

    TrevorKeith

    Thursday, January 16, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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