Friday 13 December 2019

Solskjaer left in Villa limbo

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is prepared to listen to an offer from Aston Villa if they make contact with him again, but is happy to "stand by" the remaining two years of his deal with Molde.

Solskjaer was flown by private jet from his home town of Kristiansund to Birmingham for a four-hour meeting with Villa representatives on Friday.

They returned to Norway to learn that Molde's billionaire backer Kjell Inge Rokke had pulled the plug on his company's 20-year support as a result of the meeting with Villa.

"It's up to Aston Villa whether there's anything more," said Solskjaer. "If they make contact, I'll make a decision. I've a contract for two more years (at Molde) and I'll stand by that."

Gordon shown the exit door

Sunderland have released nine players including injury-prone Scotland international goalkeeper Craig Gordon after their deals expired at the end of the season.

Gordon, 29, made 95 senior appearances in almost five years at the club after joining from Hearts in 2007. His £9m transfer was at the time the most paid by a British club for a goalkeeper.

He has suffered a variety of injuries, including anterior cruciate ligament damage that ruled him out for eight months last year. Sunderland added that loan signings Nicklas Bendtner, Wayne Bridge and Sotiros Kyrgiakos had all returned to their parent clubs.

Connolly axed from Saints

David Connolly, Radhi Jaidi, and Bartosz Bialkowski are among seven senior players released by Southampton today.

Ex-Bolton and Birmingham defender Jaidi has announced his retirement, although it is understood he will stay on at Southampton in a role to be revealed tomorrow.

Former Ireland striker Connolly and Bialkowski are free to look for new clubs.

Canaries ease Holt concerns

Norwich chief executive David McNally insists his club are on a firm footing despite Grant Holt's request to leave Carrow Road.

The 31-year-old's transfer request was rejected by the Canaries yesterday and McNally took to Twitter yesterday in a bid to calm fans about the club's future.

"We did receive a transfer request from Grant Holt. It was rejected immediately," McNally said. "We are very relaxed with managing the end-of-season activities."

QPR bide time on Barton call

QPR manager Mark Hughes has promised to deal with Joey Barton once the FA has announced its punishment for last week's behaviour against Manchester City.

Barton's future is in doubt after he elbowed Carlos Tevez, kicked Sergio Aguero and appeared to headbutt Vincent Kompany during Rangers' 3-2 defeat.

"We are awaiting the verdict of the FA and the disciplinary process will take its course," said Hughes.

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