Lambert joins players in rumour mill

Manager, rather than players, was the big talking point as the rumour mill churned on yesterday.

The Paul-Lambert-to-West-Ham surprised absolutely nobody, except perhaps the Daily Mirror, who decided it was a 'shock move' for the City manager. You have to assume the shock is that a relegated club would believe they could tempt a manager from a newly-promoted Premier League club: it can't surely have been anything else.

Fortunately for City fans, Chris Hughton remains favourite.

There are various rumours concerning Bristol City striker Nicky Maynard which, if you forgive the pun, appear to have a lot more legs.

According to Fansfc.com, 'It is believed Lambert has set his sights on 24-year-old Bristol City striker Maynard, with an offer of �5million being prepared for the summer'.

The phrase 'it is believed' is one of the old favourites and covers a multitude not only of sins but sheer ignorance too.

According to the Bristol Evening Post, the Robins haven't received any inquiries for Maynard, who is currently negotiating a new contract with a year to go on his present deal – hence the speculation.

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'If reports are to be believed, Merseyside giants Liverpool and Everton are tracking Maynard, while Premier League newcomers Queens Park Rangers and Norwich City are also considering tabling bids of their own,' said the Post.

'I can, quite honestly, say there has been no interest shown in Nicky,' said City manager Keith Millen. 'I have not received a single phone call and there have been no offers made to the club.

'There is always going to be speculation where players like Nicky are concerned and I don't mind that. It means my players are doing well.

'But, in this case, it is nothing more than speculation. I read in the papers that this club and this club are supposed to be interested, yet they never pick up the phone and speak to us.'

Know how you feel, Keith, know how you feel.

On the subject of strikers, Coventry aren't interested in Norwich's Cody McDonald. Nor Jimmy Bullard. The Sky Blues had been linked with both, but told the Coventry Telegraph the speculation was incorrect.

Away from Carrow Road, but back with the Daily Mirror and news of ex-City star Craig Bellamy, who spent the season on loan at Cardiff.

It seems Manchester City will allow Bellamy to leave Eastlands in a cut-price deal this summer. Seems like City have been paying �70,000 of his �90,000-a-week pay packet this season. And still Cardiff didn't go up.

And finally, one to keep followers of A Certain Website, catering for those who refuse to do their homework, happy, how about Preston's Martin Paterson to Norwich? Or Derby?