Hunt's days at Wolves look to be numbered
INTERNATIONAL NEWS:KEVIN DOYLE may be hoping that a Premier League club will take him away from Molineux before this week’s transfer deadline but it looks as though his Republic of Ireland team-mate Stephen Hunt is being shown the door by new manager Stale Solbakken, who is apparently willing to let the midfielder leave of a free transfer.
Hunt failed to make even the bench for Wolves’ draw with Derby County over the weekend – a game in which Doyle scored for the home side – and Solbakken said afterwards that he is open to offers for the 31-year-old whose contract is due to run out next summer.
“I had an open discussion with Stephen and said we’ll see what happens,” said the Norwegian who succeeded Mick McCarthy at the club over the summer.
“He’s got 10 months left on his contract and we had an open discussion about that. If he wants to stay and fight for his place, that’s fine, but if we get an offer in that’s acceptable, he will leave.”
Apparently pretty much any offer would be acceptable as far as the manager is concerned. Hunt is on substantial wages and his departure would free up funds as Solbakken, who has already seen a couple of big names depart, looks to bring in players of his own.
Richard Dunne’s reported move to Stoke seemed no closer yesterday but the 32-year-old did confirm to Giovanni Trapattoni that he will be available for selection by the Ireland manager as soon as he recovers from his groin injury and gets playing at club level again.
The Italian was at Villa Park on Saturday and afterwards the FAI issued a statement in which it said: “Giovanni Trapattoni and Marco Tardelli held a positive meeting with Richard Dunne today. Richard reconfirmed that he will be available again for international duty once he makes a full recovery.”
Trapattoni had expressed concern that Dunne might be more inclined to walk away if he moved to a new club but it remains unclear whether the issue is likely to arise. Paul Lambert said prior to Saturday’s game that he had heard nothing from Stoke and despite reports over the weekend that the bones of a deal had been agreed, their manager, Tony Pulis, made no mention of Dunne when asked about possible transfer moves after yesterday’s draw with Arsenal but did say he would be trying again to sign Michael Dawson this week.
Lambert, one suspects, would have to have a replacement lined up too, for Ciaran Clark had another difficult afternoon on Saturday with the defender sent off for a challenge on Nikica Jelavic in a 1-3 defeat.
Coventry City have placed Richard Shaw and former Ireland international Lee Carsley in charge of first team affairs on a temporary basis after sacking Andy Thorn just three games into the new season.
City, who have mounting financial difficulties after being relegated to League One, drew all three league outings to date but surrendered a lead on each occasion.
“Richard and Lee will take charge of first team affairs and we feel that will give us time to ensure we appoint a manager to help us mount a serious challenge for promotion,” said chief executive Tim Fisher.