Norwich City turn down two offers from West Ham for Grant Holt - but nothing near £4m
09:22 04 June 2012
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Norwich City chief executive David McNally has dismissed reports that Premier League rivals West Ham have made a £4m bid for wantaway captain Grant Holt.
But he admitted that the Hammers have made two lesser bids this summer which the Canaries rejected.
McNally used his personal Twitter account to scotch fresh speculation the Hammers have lined up the 31-year-old striker to spearhead their return to the top flight.
Holt and his representative, Lee Payne, reiterated last week Holt wished to leave the club after his initial transfer request was rejected over City’s apparent failure to offer him an extra year on his remaining two-year deal.
McNally, however, insisted on Friday that Holt was not for sale after being linked with a swift reunion alongside his ex-Norwich boss Paul Lambert at Aston Villa.
The chief executive then tweeted on Sunday lunchtime: “Just for the record, we have not received a £4m bid for Grant from West Ham as apparently is being suggested.”
City’s player-of-the-season’s desire to leave Carrow Road has split opinion amongst the Norwich fans who idolise him, after both the striker and his agent Payne publicly reaffirmed their commitment to leave following Lambert’s confirmed exit prior to the weekend.
Payne claimed in a radio interview that McNally had said Holt, at 31, was ‘too old’ for a three-year deal.
“David bluntly turned around and said, ‘You’re too old so forget a third year’,” said Payne.
And while McNally says there has been no argument with the player, Payne says Holt still wants to leave.
“We felt we had to speak up because I’ve seen a lot of comments from fans giving Grant absolute pelters and it’s just not fair,” he said.
“Grant loves the club and the fans have got to ask themselves why has Paul Lambert left? Why does Grant Holt want to leave?
“He [Holt] has got two years left on his contract and all he really wanted – before he even spoke about money –was a third year.
“He wanted to finish his career at Norwich, but being told ‘you’re too old’, I just think it was the wrong thing to do.”
However, some fans have now openly turned against Holt, especially after the hitman re-tweeted a message on the social media site at the weekend which ended with the words “Holt for Villa”.
Lambert’s departure has caused increasing anger among some sections of the Yellow Army, who believed comments towards the end of the season suggested he would stay on.
In a statement released on Saturday, City said they were in discussions with Villa about compensation for Lambert and denied reports that a figure had been agreed.
“We will continue to discuss this matter privately with Aston Villa,” it said.
“The next Norwich City manager will have a great squad of players, a robust and competitive budget and excellent facilities to work with – as well as the superb backing home and away of our fantastic supporters.”