Chris Hughton intends to keep Wes Hoolahan at Norwich City, and has dismissed reports of a bid for the player from a rival Premier League club.
The Republic of Ireland international joined the Canaries in 2008, and has played a key role in their progress into an established Premier League side. However, for the first time since making the move to Carrow Road, the former Blackpool midfielder has struggled for regular football this season, with just eight starts to his name this term.
This has led to speculation that Paul Lambert, who worked with the 31-year-old during his time in charge at Norwich, is keen to add the playmaker to his squad at Aston Villa. And the rumours seemed to increase at the weekend, when Hoolahan missed the FA Cup third round home clash with Fulham, which ended in a 1-1 draw.
However, speaking after the match, Canaries boss Hughton played down the speculation, revealing that Hoolahan sustained an injury on Friday which ruled him out of the game. He also went on to say that no bids have been made for the Dubliner, whilst he intends to keep the Dubliner, rather than reduce his current options at Carrow Road.
“Wes Hoolahan reported an injury and at this moment is having treatment,” Hughton said. “There has been no bid that I am aware of, absolutely not. It’s not our intention to lose players; our intentions are to strengthen what we have got here.”
Before Hughton’s comments, The Mirror reported that Lambert had hoped to land Hoolahan by placing an offer of £1.5million for his signature. However, considering the player remains under contract at Norwich for another 18 months, even if they agreed to sell, they would likely look for a much bigger fee.