Wes Hoolahan seeks Paul Lambert reunion

Norwich City midfielder makes clear his wish to move to Aston Villa before transfer window shuts

 Norwich have turned down a transfer request from midfielder Wes Hoolahan. Photograph:  Dave Thompson/PA Wire

Norwich have turned down a transfer request from midfielder Wes Hoolahan. Photograph: Dave Thompson/PA Wire


Wes Hoolahan has made it clear that he still wants to leave Norwich City for Aston Villa despite his current employers having said last week they do not want to sell the 31 year-old Dubliner.

The midfielder, who claims he has become frustrated by the amount of time he has been spending on the bench this season, says that he would relish the opportunity to play for his former boss Paul Lambert, who is now at Villa.

“I haven’t spoken to anybody at Aston Villa, but of course a move to play for Paul Lambert again would appeal to me,” he says. “I played some of the best football of my career under him and it was Paul who converted me from a winger to playing in the hole behind the striker. At my age, I need to be playing regular first-team football and that is not happening at Norwich.”

The Irishman insists that there has been no dramatic falling out with Chris Hughton or Norwich but says that he has made his feelings known and hopes that he will be allowed to over before the transfer window shuts at the end of the month.

“There have been times this season when I’ve not even been included in the squad and the majority of the time I have been on the bench,” he says. “Obviously, the club signed a lot of new players in the summer and the change of formation probably doesn’t suit me. I want a new challenge and a fresh start.

“I tried to do things sensibly and quietly because I’ve not been involved whatsoever (the former Shelbourne and Blackpool player has, in fact, featured in 12 first team games this season, four of them from the bench). But I was told the club do not want to sell me. Nothing has really been explained to me.”

Villa have already made an offer believed to have been worth around €1 million for the player who, it seems, is reluctant to play for his current club while the saga drags on. It is not clear then whether an improved bid may yet persuade Hughton to cut his losses and let Hoolahan go or whether the City will dig in rather than help to strengthen a side that may be involved in a relegation scrap with them over the coming months.

Adam Rooney and Gary Dicker, meanwhile, have completed moves to Aberdeen and Crawley Town respectively.

Rooney, who left Inverness Caledonian Thistle in 2011 to join Birmingham City, returns after having had his contract with most recent club, Oldham, cancelled by mutual consent. The 25 year-old was also a target for Hibernian.

“Adam is a proven goalscorer and he has the quality to add something to our team.” Said Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes. “There were other clubs keen to take him and it’s great that he wants to be part of what we’re doing here at Aberdeen. I’ve said all along that I’ll only bring in players who I believe will add something to the squad and Adam certainly ticks that box.”

Dicker has moved to Crawley in order to be closer to home after commuting to Rochdale for a spell. His deal is initially until the end of the season but both sides have expressed the hope that it might be extended in the summer.

“He’s a really good ball-playing midfielder,” says manager John Gregory of the former UCD player. “He gets stuck in but he’s also very good on the ball and he is really keen to make this move work for him.

“We have taken him initially until the end of the season but if all goes well I can definitely see him being here beyond that. That’s up to Gary, of course, but he has all the attributes to be a success at this football club for a long time to come.”

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