Chris Hughton will not have sleepless nights over Wes Hoolahan transfer talk
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Chris Hughton will not lose any sleep over the Wes Hoolahan transfer saga which cast a sizeable shadow over Norwich's FA Cup third round tie against Fulham.
Hoolahan was a notable omission after complaining of an injury on the eve of the Cottagers visit, following reports in the Midlands of a £1.5m enquiry from former boss Paul Lambert's Aston Villa. Both Lambert and his predecessor sought to dampen down growing speculation over the weekend and Hughton insisted there was nothing sinister in the Irishman's FA Cup absence.
'Wes reported an injury (on Friday). At this moment he is having treatment and that is why he was not at the game. It was nothing to do with being linked to other clubs,' said Hughton. 'Has there been a bid? Not that I am aware of, absolutely not. At the moment it is a hypothetical situation that you are asking me about. There is no news to report in or out. We are working, the same as most teams and anything we have to tell you we will, but it is my responsibility to do things in the proper manner and for me that is behind-the-scenes. We had nine senior players not involved through injury and my biggest concern is getting those back and bringing new ones in as opposed to losing players. It is not our intention to lose players. Our intentions are to strengthen what we have here.'
Lambert was equally non-committal following Villa's embarrassing FA Cup exit at home to Sheffield United regarding the prospects of a reunion with the influential schemer who starred for him in City's League One and Championship promotion successes.
'It's not fair to talk about other team's players,' said Lambert. 'I don't think that's right. He's a Norwich player and like any player we go for, I don't think it's right to comment.'
Hoolahan was joined on the sick list by new additions Bradley Johnson and Sebastien Bassong, although Hughton expects both to be in contention for the Premier League trip to Everton. Central defender Michael Turner will not be available for the Goodison Park test after Hughton confirmed he had suffered a hamstring strain in the New Year's Day league draw at Crystal Palace.
'Yes, he has done his hamstring. We are still assessing it but it is a strain so he will certainly be out for a while. How long? We'll probably know in a few days,' said Hughton. 'The fortunate thing is apart from Elliott Bennett they are not long term injuries. Bradley and Seb missed out here but we are very hopeful on them for this week. Alex Tettey is very close, maybe not for this week, but close and Anthony Pilkington is another body who is not far away.'