Norwich City face new Lambert rumours

Norwich City fans are experiencing claret and blue d�j� vu after fresh reports that boss Paul Lambert is the man wanted by relegated West Ham United to fill their managerial vacancy.

The Canaries rejected approaches from then-Championship rivals Burnley for Lambert’s services back in January, and now the Hammers are said to have him at the top of their list of potential targets as they attempt to regain Premier League status.

Reports of interest from Upton Park surfaced earlier this week, but made back page headlines yesterday when one national newspaper repeated the West Ham link and claimed Lambert was in a “contract dispute” at Carrow Road over the offer of a new deal said to be worth �1.6m a year including bonuses and incentives. City declined to make any comment last night on speculation over Lambert’s future or the details of his contract, though it is understood the club has received no approach from West Ham.

The speculation has sparked plenty of comment on the Pink Un messageboard, although most fans appear confident Lambert will not turn his back on City.

Jed Exodous wrote: “This is the price of success, having one of the best managers in the country is always going to attract unwanted attention. I can’t see him leaving, not without having at least one season with us.

“The issue I see though, is that whatever people say about West Ham, they have the potential to be a lot bigger club than us in a shorter period of time. With the Olympic Stadium move on the horizon, there is massive potential there and one way or the other, they will get back up.

“We know only too well that a step backwards can result in massive steps forward.

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“I feel confident Lambert will want a crack at the Prem with his team he’s built. But it’s difficult not to be concerned.”

Babyface was slightly less worried, saying: “West Ham are a Championship club so I can’t see them as the next step for PL and I’m sure he’d rather have Premier League football with our board rather than the chalice that is WHU at the moment.”

And another poster, Row D Seat 7, added: “I don’t believe money is Lambert’s main motivation. He wants to be in the Premier League.

“My Mum made a great point after we got promoted, she said ‘That’s it now.

“Lambert will always be a top tier manager from now on’. I think she was right.”

Back-to-back promotions have inevitably made the City boss a hot property and it is no great surprise to see his name linked with high-profile jobs.

But former Newcastle boss Chris Hughton remains the bookmakers’ clear favourite to take over from the sacked Avram Grant, while the shortest odds for Lambert are 7/1 with William Hill.