Iwan Roberts gives his verdict on Grant Holt transfer request

Norwich City skipper Grant Holt has dropped an end-of-season bombshell by handing in a transfer request – which the club has rejected.

Top scorer Holt was crowned the Canaries' player of the season for the third year in a row after scoring in last Sunday's 2-0 home win over Aston Villa, but suffered disappointment three days later when he was not included in new England manager Roy Hodgson's squad for the Euro 2012 finals in Poland and Ukraine.

The 31-year-old has scored 70 goals for City in three seasons, 15 of them in his first season in the Premier League, and has two years remaining on his existing contract.

The shock news of the striker's desire for a move brought the briefest of statements from Carrow Road.

'Grant Holt has made a transfer request today, which the club has rejected,' said City's head of media, Joe Ferrari, making no further comment.

Holt, who joined the Canaries from Shrewsbury in the summer of 2009 for a reported �400,000, signed a new three-year contract with Norwich in April 2011, shortly after scoring a hat-trick in a 6-0 win over Scunthorpe.

He was the subject of an unsuccessful bid from Glasgow Rangers in January, reported to be as little as �500,000 – a lucky escape, coming shortly before the Ibrox club's financial problems forced them into administration.

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Last summer, Championship club Leicester were reported to have made the Canaries a �2m offer for Holt.

In the season just finished, Holt scored 17 times in 38 appearances in all competitions, and his tally of 70 goals in 130 games puts him joint seventh with John Deehan in the club's all-time scoring list.

Former City striker Iwan Roberts, in third place in the same list with 96 goals, spoke last night of his surprise at the transfer request, but said Holt may feel he has one big move left in his career.

'I'm a little bit shocked, although the way football is I don't think we should be too shocked by some of the events that happen,' said Roberts.

'Perhaps his head has been turned or an agent has had a word in his ear – time will tell.

'He was obviously bitterly disappointed about missing out on the England squad, but at the end of the day Norwich have finished 12th in the Premier League and there are a lot of big clubs up there. With no disrespects to Holty, I don't think he is going to go to a top five or a top six club.

'Perhaps he feels he has one big move left in his career and the chance to make a lot of money for his family in the next few years.'

Roberts said Holt's standing with City supporters could not be higher.

'It's a strange one because he's much-loved. He's a talisman, no question, and the goals he's scored have been outstanding, and he's the club captain,' he said.

'It looks as if he loves playing his football here and loves living here and you can't help feeling agents have got involved and they can persuade players to do things at times.'

The news will come as a further worry to City fans following speculation linking manager Paul Lambert with the vacancies at Aston Villa and Liverpool.

When Holt signed a new three-year contract last year, agent Lee Payne, a former Newcastle and Reading player, negotiated the deal.

Payne said later the City skipper had been 'overjoyed' with the contract.

He said: 'Grant had had two tremendous years at Norwich, back-to-back promotions, two player of the year awards, top goalscorer and he wanted rewarding for that.

'There had been one or two players before who tried to renegotiate with Norwich and it had been a long, drawn-out affair. We went in on the Monday morning and within a couple of hours we had negotiated a new deal.'

Holt was originally scheduled to be a guest with team-mate Adam Drury on ex-Canary Paul McVeigh's show on BBC Radio Norfolk last night, but he did not take part.

Holt is due to play in Drury's testimonial against Celtic at Carrow Road on Tuesday.

'Holty's still playing, he said he still wants to play,' Drury said.

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