Aston Villa are said to be poised to make an official approach for Norwich City manager Paul Lambert.

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Sky Sports and the BBC both reported that Villa would be seeking official permission to speak to Lambert today as they look to find a successor to the sacked Alex McLeish.

But reports elsewhere suggested the Canaries would not welcome such an approach and would fight hard to keep the Scot, who is operating on a rolling contract at Carrow Road.

There is certainly no guarantee that Lambert would regard Villa as a big enough attraction to persuade him to leave. They only avoided relegation from the Premier League by two points and had to significantly reduce their wage bill after debts of more than £50m for the year ending May 2011.

Lambert has consistently kept his own counsel on speculation linking him with the job. When pressed after last week’s Adam Drury testimonial match at Carrow Road, he commented: “I am delighted I am at Norwich if that is what you are asking. I have never said I wanted away. Not a thing have I said and people jump to conclusions.”

No-one from the club was available for comment last night, but City’s chief executive David McNally made his position clear at the end of the season.

“We would not welcome any enquiry for our football manager or any of the club’s football players,” he said. “We’ll do everything we can and fight this as hard as we’ve ever fought.”

Villa owner Randy Lerner is hoping it will be a case of third time lucky in terms of replacing McLeish. He held talks with former Manchester United star Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who opted to stay at Molde in Norway for family reasons and also spoke with advisors of Wigan boss Roberto Martinez, who had initially rejected the chance to replace Gerard Houllier 12 months ago. But Latics boss Dave Whelan yesterday said Martinez was staying put.

The other serious contender for Villa is believed to be Roberto di Matteo, should he not get the Chelsea job on a permanent basis.

Villa will have the chance to make a move at Thursday’s meeting of Premier League chairman in Darlington.

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15 comments

  • bye bye PL , hello Steve Bruce

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    Ian Oi

    Thursday, May 31, 2012

  • 2nd attempt, a "PS", ethered for some reason. We`ll converse when the dust settles, canarydownunder? :-(

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    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, May 31, 2012

  • Hearing rumours he's left? Any confirmation? Fearing the worst...

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    Seb Trower

    Thursday, May 31, 2012

  • I can't predict whether PL will go or not - obviously I hope he passes up this opportunity & waits for something better, but my respect for him has increased after watching the conduct of a certain Brendan Rodgers. A week ago we were jealous as BR came out & declared he had no wish to leave Swansea. What a joke. Silience could be golden - or even if it isn't at least PL hasn't treated anyone with disrespect. So, as always ILWT.

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    Meds

    Thursday, May 31, 2012

  • This morning`s news is not good. Ominous is the word, I think. Que sera. If it happens, the Club needs to prove it`s big enough and strong enough to go again. This is shades of the Colchester move but in reverse!

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    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, May 31, 2012

  • Can't believe NCFC had refused Lambert to talk to Villa, that's clearly asking for trouble.

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    kbartlett37

    Thursday, May 31, 2012

  • Refusing permssion to talk is nearly always a mistake. Allowing it doesn't seemed to have harmed Wigan. If God leaves, will the other two members of the Holy Trinity (IC and GL) leave too?

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    canarydownunder

    Thursday, May 31, 2012

  • "I don't think he will go to Villa. They are heavily in debt and are now a "selling" club " - As a Villa fan i can tell you that this first sentence is the kind of naivety that makes other fans look silly. Our best players want away? I don't know about you but selling Downing for £20m to liverpool looks like a good deal on our part! I think he will be at Villa next season as no matter what you say it IS a step up. We have a better team than you, we have more financial clout than you, we have a bigger fanbasestadium than you, we have more of a history than you. Like it or not we are a big club and one of only 5-6 teams to have been in the PL since its inception. As someone has said loyalty counts for nothing, ask Posh fans that. I can see Chris Hughton coming in and doing an even better job for you. Dont take it so personally, if he leaves for us then thats great for us, but you managers as with players they come and go. You only have to look at far as Swansea to realise this.

    Report this comment

    MonkeyNuts

    Thursday, May 31, 2012

  • Hearing rumours he's left? Any confirmation? Fearing the worst...

    Report this comment

    Seb Trower

    Thursday, May 31, 2012

  • I've just rung Villa " Hello Randy old boy. Now there's this chap called Glen Rodent...used to manage here at Norwich a while back.....absolute diamond he was ....we were heart-broken when he left us...stout fella.....I'll give him your number .....No,no my dear chap...think nothing of it....anything to help our American cousins....chin,chin....."...

    Report this comment

    Timbo

    Wednesday, May 30, 2012

  • PS. canarydownunder, I think PL came with IC & GK and the likelihood is that he`d leave with them too. Then we wait on tenterhooks for the player exodus. Holt & Tierney, for starters? To Villa. Seem to remember Fox and the unmentionable full-back following Lambo from Colchester.......Oops, I`ve mentioned him! :-(

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, May 31, 2012

  • Only a fool would try and argue that the Villa job is not a step up for PL. Hsitory shows his head has been turned by tradition, fan base and potential and Villa have that over us. Then there's the easier commute 'home' to improve his personal life, not to mention the greater salary and transfer budgets he is likely to have to play with to attract 'big name' players over the long term. Just how much the pull of a 'job half done' and the excellent relationship he has with the Board, CEO, players and us fans counts will be severely tested, assuming that any approach is done by the book and McNally allows them to talk (unlikely?). Football is a buiness these day, and 'loyalty' counts for naught. To successfully resist an approach will be further testament to how far the club and come. ILWT, OTBC!

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    canarydownunder

    Thursday, May 31, 2012

  • I don't think he will go to Villa. They are heavily in debt and are now a "selling" club whereas PL has been given all the Premier League money to improve our squad. We may have to improve his rolling contract, but as with Hucks and many other players recently, the quality of life in and around Norwich for his family will count for a great deal, especially when the alternative is Birmingham. Our airport is also handy for going up to Scotland whenever he wants. I think we will hold onto him for another 2 years and then he will go to a real big club, not one living on past glories like Villa

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    DaveG

    Thursday, May 31, 2012

  • He be nuts to go to them now - Not even in the top three of their wanted list. Villa are being rejected by everyone because they are a club divided into two distinct opposing factions. The factional infighting is one of the reasons they are broke and need to reorganise the way the club is run. (Director of football et al) Their best players want away and the the team contains many that Lambert will not tolerate. They may have more resources than Norwich but they are a shambles.

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    Indiabill

    Thursday, May 31, 2012

  • I meant GK not GL!

    Report this comment

    canarydownunder

    Thursday, May 31, 2012

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