Norwich City chief executive David McNally - Grant Holt is not for sale
Skipper Grant Holt is definitely not for sale, Norwich City chief executive David McNally insisted today – after the club's top scorer repeated his wish to leave Carrow Road.
With the Canaries already facing up to the exit of manager Paul Lambert - their decision to reject his resignation is unlikely to prevent him from joining Aston Villa – Holt has repeated his desire for a move, a fortnight after having a transfer request turned down.
The 31-year-old took to Twitter today to say: 'Just to stop the rumour mill again. I have expressed to the board and the CEO that I want to leave the football club. Due to disagreements.'
McNally, however, said none of City's first team squad, Holt included, was for sale.
'I'm delighted he's loved it here. We've loved every moment of Grant Holt being here – 70 goals in three seasons,' said McNally.
'Every level of football he's played at, he's scored goals - 17 goals last season, 15 in the Premier League, a couple of Cup goals thrown in, what a fantastic performance from our captain, our talisman, the fans' hero. He's won the player of the year three years in succession. That's never been done here at this marvellous football club.
'He's not for sale, not for sale. If ever hypothetically you were forced into a position to sell somebody with such a record, what's the replacement cost? It's certainly bigger than the total budget I've seen quoted in relation to the club that Paul Lambert might be talking to, for new money this year.
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'It would be a huge figure. But I stress, for all the Norwich City supporters out there, Grant Holt is not for sale.'
McNally, talking to Sky Sports News but not made available to other media, also denied that City had already inquired about the availability of Cardiff manager Malky Mackay and Celtic boss Neil Lennon, among those tipped to succeed Lambert.
He said: 'I've seen it reported today that we've contacted both their particular clubs about their managers. We haven't and I'd like to put that on record.
'Celtic Football Club and Norwich City get on marvellously well. We had a great day here last week celebrating Adam Drury's testimonial so the two sets of supporters get on brilliantly. I can confirm that no approach has been made for Neil Lennon.
'If we were interested in talking to them about Neil, because he's a great manager, we'd go straight to them quietly and privately. We wouldn't announce it through the media.'
Though City have not formally accepted Lambert's resignation, McNally admitted: 'We are looking for a new manager. That's likely to be what we concentrate on for the next few days, few weeks maybe.
'We were in a situation where we were approached by another club, asking for permission to speak to Paul Lambert.
'We didn't grant permission. We were very clear we wanted to keep our manager, who's been incredibly successful.
'When it was indicated by our manager that he would like the opportunity to speak to this particular club, really the dynamics changed and so it's then about talking to them about compensation, agreeing compensation and agreeing with them a time frame, and we're still in that process.
'I have to say, though, that Paul Lambert has been fantastic for this football club over three years. He quite rightly will take his place in Norwich City history and we'll always be very grateful to Paul for his terrific achievements here over three glorious years for the football club.'