Tuesday 12 December 2017

Hoolahan hands in transfer request in bid to link up with Lambert

Wes Hoolahan
Wes Hoolahan

John Percy

Wes Hoolahan has handed in a transfer request at Norwich City and is keen to join up with former manager Paul Lambert.

Hoolahan is determined to force through a £1.5 million move to Aston Villa and has told Chris Hughton that he wants to leave Carrow Road after more than five years.

Lambert tabled an offer for the Ireland international late last week and wants to make the playmaker his first signing of the January transfer window as he attempts to ease the growing pressure by recruiting experience.

The Villa manager has identified a creative midfielder as a top priority this month and his opening bid for Hoolahan was rejected by his old club, paving the way for the 31-year-old to submit a written transfer request.

Hoolahan has also told his Norwich team-mates he will never play for the club again and is desperate to rejoin Lambert in the Midlands. However, Villa's move will undoubtedly be complicated by the bad blood that exists between Lambert and Norwich following his acrimonious exit in May 2012.

Lambert's three years in East Anglia ended on a sour note after a complete breakdown in his relationship with chairman Alan Bowkett and David McNally, the chief executive.

The two parties finally reached a settlement over the dispute regarding his departure later that year but Lambert has never disguised his contempt for his former employers.

That row could threaten Villa's bid to sign Hoolahan, though the Irishman's decision to hand in a request yesterday will help Lambert.

After joining Norwich from Blackpool in June 2008 he emerged as a key player under Lambert as the club achieved success.

Villa are retaining their support for the under-fire Scot despite an alarming run of one victory from the last seven games, which included an embarrassing FA Cup exit to League One side Sheffield United.

Arsenal travel to Villa Park on Monday night and Lambert is hopeful of completing Hoolahan's signing before this weekend. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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