One image above all others sprang to mind when the first stirrings of transfer speculation surrounding Wes Hoolahan broke on the eve of Norwich’s FA Cup tie.

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"Any individual who wishes to agitate for a move away will do so from a position of clear weakness."

Paddy Davitt

It was the bear hug Paul Lambert enveloped the Dubliner in as they both left the pitch at Villa Park following the first reunion between the Canaries and the chief architect of their rise from League One.

Hoolahan lit up that Premier League game in October 2012 and it was his instinctive intelligence and quick-thinking that fashioned a deserved equaliser for Michael Turner in the closing stages of a game Chris Hughton’s squad merited a victory.

Lambert did not go to any of his own Villans in search of an embrace at the final whistle, but headed straight for a player who did more than most to raise his managerial stock at Carrow Road. Lambert’s fabled diamond formation swept Norwich from the third tier but it was a tactical device that allowed Hoolahan to flourish at his most creative best; freed to a large extent from defensive responsibilities and tasked with supplying the likes of Grant Holt and Chris Martin.

That the Villa boss is a confirmed admirer of Hoolahan is to state the obvious, even before fresh reports on Wednesday night of a frankly derisory bid tabled way below the initial £1.5m figure floated at the weekend. Lambert is in the market for attacking midfielders and Hoolahan justifiably would be on any target list. But the Dubliner is not the only one. Of that we can be quite sure.

The agent of Belgium international Steven Defour was quoted last week saying there had been contact from the Midlands club to sound them out rearding the prospect of a mid-season switch to England from Porto.

There will be others. But whether you focus on Hoolahan or any other member of Hughton’s first team pool at Carrow Road this transfer window is all about Norwich City.

The Canaries’ board hold the upper hand in their desire to recruit and retain, not the players or their representatives. A healthy balance sheet containing record financial numbers in the last set of completed accounts and an astute policy of securing their prime assets mean any individual who wishes to agitate for a move away will do so from a position of clear weakness.

Hoolahan himself may not have been among the latest tranche of team mates to pledge their futures to the Canaries in recent months, but a new long term deal signed in December 2012 means he is contracted to these parts for the foreseeable future.

Hughton himself refused to be drawn on what he labelled a ‘hypothetical’ situation when forced to deflect the inevitable line of questioning sparked by Hoolahan’s absence from last weekend’s Fulham cup-tie.

Many conclusions will already have been drawn prior to the latest twist in a trading window built on smoke and mirrors, one which masks the detail and muddies the waters; when you have to decipher the semantics of an enquiry from a firm offer, expressions of interest from third party contacts and agents who purport to act on behalf of players and clubs. Or even in Hoolahan’s case, separate fact from fiction when it comes to transfer requests.

City’s board will dictate the final outcome of any potential approach for any of their contracted players. Hoolahan is a firm fans’ favourite who has been a loyal servant on the march to the Premier League. Given his advancing years and his relative lack of first team opportunities one would entirely understand a level of frustration amplified elsewhere in recent times with the public outburst from Luciano Becchio - or more pertinently his representative.

But Norwich have made great play of the fact none of their established stars have left against their wishes during this heady journey from League One.

Jed Steer’s exit for Villa generated a sour aftertaste, but the highly-rated young keeper was not about to dislodge John Ruddy.

They may be tested in the remainder of the transfer circus but all the circumstantial evidence reinforces the view Norwich City is not a selling club in the Premier League.

23 comments

  • If anyone needs a massage or physio in Ipswich just google the names of the Ipswich trolls here

    Report this comment

    PaulWho

    Thursday, January 9, 2014

  • Why is it some users can get the same post, posted 100242343 times yet I cant get a single post up. The powers that be have no problem sending me 10 emails saying they were not posted because they were duplicates though. Wouldn't be a problem but the actually post never gets posted so dont email saying there duplicates. arrrghh! More frustrating than watching ncfc under hughton!

    Report this comment

    Mattias333

    Thursday, January 9, 2014

  • Liz I don't know why you come on here is it to distract yourself from worrying about where the money will go when Marcus Evans sells off Cresswell?

    Report this comment

    GossVolley

    Thursday, January 9, 2014

  • Not half as good a job as agent Evans is doing at ITFC. He appointed agents Keane and Jewell which were both master strokes. He now owns your training ground so you now have a rent book for ME and the council.

    Report this comment

    B Inners

    Thursday, January 9, 2014

  • hear not here!

    Report this comment

    Mellow_Yellow

    Thursday, January 9, 2014

  • Cresswell? Is that the biggest concern Ipswich have to worry about? how cute lol!

    Report this comment

    Mattias333

    Thursday, January 9, 2014

  • Tonyb ... blue half of East Anglia? That would be Colchester, Peterborough, Southend and Ips-wich ... or would that only add up to 10%?

    Report this comment

    ScotCan

    Thursday, January 9, 2014

  • Finally - Paddy Davitt: why don't you speak to Wes directly and report his views on his current situation?

    Report this comment

    el dingo

    Thursday, January 9, 2014

  • Lambert is twice the manager of your current one. But never mind "agent" Hooton is doing a grand job as far as the Blue half of East Anglia is concerned.

    Report this comment

    Liz Knott

    Thursday, January 9, 2014

  • Ha! Typically that post goes up fine and dandy!

    Report this comment

    Mattias333

    Thursday, January 9, 2014

  • Blue half of east anglia,is that colchester,p'boro or southend?

    Report this comment

    tonyb

    Thursday, January 9, 2014

  • Lambert is twice the manager of your current one. But never mind "agent" Hooton is doing a grand job as far as the Blue half of East Anglia is concerned.

    Report this comment

    Liz Knott

    Thursday, January 9, 2014

  • hear not here!

    Report this comment

    Mellow_Yellow

    Thursday, January 9, 2014

  • Good one, tonyb:)

    Report this comment

    el dingo

    Thursday, January 9, 2014

  • Lambert is twice the manager of your current one. But never mind "agent" Hooton is doing a grand job as far as the Blue half of East Anglia is concerned.

    Report this comment

    Liz Knott

    Thursday, January 9, 2014

  • Funny that Snott......I think Hughton is doing a grand job too so at least we agree on something. "Blue half of East Anglia"??? Since when have a paltry 17,000 home supporters equated to half the population of E.A.?

    Report this comment

    Mellow_Yellow

    Thursday, January 9, 2014

  • all that fuss when holt left.now i read that wigan want rid after six months and only two goals so looks like city do know what they are doing.

    Report this comment

    bluelight

    Thursday, January 9, 2014

  • Surrey my love, send me some of that stuff you're on.

    Report this comment

    Bill Punton's bald patch

    Thursday, January 9, 2014

  • I think some papers who are supportive of their local teams, publish articles designed to unsettle players from rival teams. Can the EDP tomorrow publish an article suggesting a bid from Norwich for Leighton Baines, or whoever else is the key Everton player(s) expected to feature on Saturday?

    Report this comment

    Surrey Canary

    Thursday, January 9, 2014

  • Who cares what Lambchops plans are? Even Villa supporters have started to lose interest and want him out. Lets here something about the prospective new players we are looking at.

    Report this comment

    Mellow_Yellow

    Thursday, January 9, 2014

  • Physician heal thyself

    Report this comment

    Bill Punton's bald patch

    Thursday, January 9, 2014

  • Not half as good a job as agent Evans is doing at ITFC. He appointed agents Keane and Jewell which were both master strokes. He now owns your training ground so you now have a rent book for ME and the council.

    Report this comment

    B Inners

    Thursday, January 9, 2014

  • all that fuss when holt left.now i read that wigan want rid after six months and only two goals so looks like city do know what they are doing.

    Report this comment

    bluelight

    Thursday, January 9, 2014

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

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